2017-02-17 / Front Page

Jury awaits attempted murder case

By TIM GULLA
Ledger Staff Writer

A jury of nine men and three women will hear closing arguments this morning at the conclusion of a weeklong trial for three men accused in a 2014 shooting that took place outside a Cherokee Avenue nightclub.

Calvin Lindsay, 28, of Camellia Circle; Demarcus Austin, 26, of Anthony Street; and Travis Santiago, 37, of Killion Drive; faced trial together on charges of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection with a June 21, 2014, shooting outside the former Main Event club.

Investigators found 23 spent shell casings from three different caliber guns at the scene. According to court testimony, shots were fired from 9mm, .40-caliber and .45-caliber weapons.

A man shot during the incident, Roman McGill, testified at the start of trial that Lindsay, Austin and Santiago were the ones who pulled the triggers.

Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday and defense attorneys began calling witnesses, all of whom claimed they were at the nightclub the night of the incident and each providing an alibi.

The gunshots rang out shortly after a scuffle had broken out inside the bar. Bouncers in the bar sprayed pepper spray or some other type of chemical to break up the scuffle, prompting bar patrons to spill out into the parking lot.

One witness called by Lindsay’s attorney, Josh Schultz, said she saw Lindsay leave the bar after the fight broke out and did not see him with a weapon. Another witness claimed he clearly saw Lindsay in the parking lot and saw he wasn’t the one who fired the shots.

Another witness, a friend of Lindsay’s, said he grabbed Lindsay after the fight broke out inside the club and took him to his car. He said they heard gunshots when they got to his vehicle.

None of those witnesses could say, however, who actually did the shooting. “No sir I didn’t (look to see who was shooting),” one replied.

Another witness, called by Santiago’s attorney, Candice Lapham, said she was walking away from the nightclub with both Santiago and McGill after the bar cleared out and claimed shots came from the direction of a silver-colored pickup that was driving by on Cherokee Avenue.

Perhaps the most surprising witness called by defense attorneys was Capt. Sherille Wells of the Cherokee County Detention Center, who testified about a brief conversation she had with McGill in January 2015 during which he told her he didn’t know who shot him. Wells said she was inquiring about McGill’s injury and the status of the case when he offered that information, but noted it was just a brief conversation without details.

Defense attorneys finished presenting evidence Thursday. Trial will resume Friday morning with closing arguments from prosecutors and the three defense lawyers in the case.

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