CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The murder trial of Tremaine Jackson entered a second day of testimony Wednesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court.
Jackson, 25, is on trial for a second time after his original Aug. 2016 trial was declared a mistrial after a juror went to the crime scene.
In a taped confession video with police, which was presented to the jury Wednesday, Jackson initially denied his involvement in the shooting death of Bryan Rogers, 29, of Ripley. He also said he never met Rogers a day in his life.
“I had nothing to do with that. Tre ain’t pull no gun on no one. Tre didn’t fire at no one,” he told police. “I’m not the shooter.”
Rogers was shot and killed near the Littlepage Terrace Apartments on the city’s West Side on Dec. 27, 2015. He later died at CAMC General. Prosecutors said the shooting was over stolen heroin.
Later on in the video, Jackson admitted to being at the scene of the crime.
“Yeah, I was there. I ain’t gonna lie. I can’t lie. That’s not me,” he told officers.
Toward the end of the nearly hour and a half long interview, Jackson admitted to killing Rogers, but Jackson’s attorneys claim he was coerced into confessing to police that he was the gunman.
Prosecutors called witnesses to the stand Wednesday including Detective C. Sharp with the Charleston Police Department. Sharp was called to the scene the night of the shooting. He testified he later found Jackson hiding at his girlfriend’s house.
“He was hiding in his girlfriend’s residence in the closet. I actually opened the door and he was hiding in a laundry basket covered up with some clothes,” Sharp said.
During Sharp’s testimony, Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Mary Claire Akers presented photos to the jury of the Westside Market & Deli, where Rogers was located after he was shot.
“Paramedics had already been on scene. They attempted several different techniques to revive him here on scene and that’s how it was when we responded,” Sharp told the jury.
Nicole McEwan, a forensic analyst and qualified gun shot residue expert with the West Virginia State Police, testified no gun shot residue was found on Jackson.
“There were not any particles of gun shot residue identified on the items submitted,” McEwan said.
“What can that indicate to you?” asked Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Goodwin.
“That the person did not fire a weapon, he had not been in the environment where gunshot residue was present or if he did have gunshot residue on him, it could have been removed,” McEwan replied.
Gun shot residue can be removed simply by shaking washing your hands or shaking someone else’s hand, McEwan said. Jackson was arrested a day after the crime, meaning he had time to shower and change his clothes; therefore, removing the residue.
Prosecutors are asking the jury to find Jackson guilty of first degree murder.
The trial will continue Thursday in Kanawha County Circuit Court.