Witnesses & Lead Investigator Testify in Fatal Drive-by Trial - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Witnesses & Lead Investigator Testify in Fatal Drive-by Trial

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In the third day of trial against four men charged with a fatal 2015 shooting, a key witness placed two of the suspects at the scene of the crime. 

The witness---a 17-year-old girl---had been detained for the past week, to ensure that she would testify in the case against Keyshawn McLaurin, Demond Mitchell, Jahaun Jones, and Stephen Russell.

All four men are charged with the drive-by shooting death of 16-year-old Shakur Franklin.

On Wednesday, the witness testified that she heard multiple gunshots and witnessed an SUV crash just before midnight, on July 24, 2015.

The girl said she saw three men jump out of the vehicle, and identified two of them as McLaurin and Mitchell. 

But when questioned by Mitchell's lawyer John Carlson, the witness said her judgment could have been impacted by fear and shock from the shooting.   

She said she made assumptions in identifying the one suspect as Mitchell. 

Carlson also questioned Erie Police Captain Rick Lorah---the lead investigator in this case---about a Central Tech football jacket which investigators initially thought belonged to Mitchell. 

While on the stand, Captain Lorah said investigators were mistaken, and the jacket belongs to someone else. 

With the eye witness account serving as the only evidence against Mitchell, Carlson is continuing to call this a case of mistaken identity. 

Testimony continues Thursday morning, in front of Judge William Cunningham.

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