A Jefferson Parish jury could decide as early as Friday on the fate of Tory Clark, who was 15 years old when prosecutors say he shot and killed a teenager while firing his gun at another group of boys outside a Kenner block party in 2010.
Clark, now 20, is being tried as an adult on second-degree murder charges and could spend at least 35 years in prison if convicted.
Charles Lathers, who also was 15 and was indicted along with Clark, will be tried separately.
Terrance Augustine, who was 17 when he turned and fled from the gunfire that erupted on 27th Street on June 26, 2010, died shortly after being rushed to the hospital. He was shot in the back of the head, through the lip and in the back.
Clark’s defense does not deny he fired the gun, but it claims someone else shot at him first and that he had no intention to kill. Prosecutors say there were no other bullets, casings or damage found to corroborate that story.
A slate of witnesses has been called since the close of opening statements Wednesday, and the jury will have to decide whether it believes witness testimony that another boy, Keeven Robinson, shot at Clark and Lathers first.
Under questioning Thursday by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Clauss, Kenner police Detective Joseph McRae said Robinson was found to have an alibi for that night. But defense attorney Rachel Yazbeck noted that the alibi came from two of Robinson’s relatives.
What both sides agree on is that the trouble started when Jade Berry went to one of Clark’s friends, Danny Bell, and told him another boy, Dorian Johnson, had dragged her along the ground by her hands, scraping her knees until they bled.
Bell told his friend Corey Cage, and the two led a group to find Johnson and his friends to stand up for her. The fight never materialized, but the gunfire erupted shortly after the two groups met and the other group of boys walked away.
That occurred when Augustine and his two cousins were on their way to the block party. Hearing shots, they turned and fled, but only Patrick and Lorenzo Augustine made it home. When they returned to the scene, they found Terrance Augustine lying in the street.
The trial continues Friday in 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.