Carver Village triple murder trial gets off to an emotional start

The first day of the Oct. 2015 Carver Village triple murder of Alexis Kitchens, 19, Kiana Marshall, 21, and Isaiah Martin, who goes by Corey Marshall, 18, got off to an emotional start Monday. (Credit: Josie Gregory)

The first day of the Oct. 2015 Carver Village triple murder of Alexis Kitchens, 19, Kiana Marshall, 21, and Isaiah Martin, who goes by Corey Marshall, 18, got off to an emotional start Monday.

The prosecution opened the trial describing the crime scene to jurors. The description created outbursts by family members and the judge then ordered the courtroom to be cleared of the public.

James Angelo Hampton and Dwayne Abney are on trial for the triple murder.

"James Hampton killed Corey first because he was the one who opened the door. Alexis and Kiana heard the gunshots and screamed. They tried to run," Matthew Breedon, the prosecution's lead attorney, said.

The prosecution said Kiana Marshall asked her roommate, Diamond Bulter, to move out on Oct. 21, 2015, a day before the shooting, because she was not working out as a roommate.

Prosecution lawyers claim Butler, who accepted a plea deal in exchange for her testimony, was upset with Kiana Marshall and asked Hampton to "shoot up the house."

Hampton and Abney face a range of charges, including felony and malice murder, conspiracy to commit a crime, burglary in the first degree, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Neighbors of Kiana Marshall testified about how they remember the night of the shooting.

Paulette Moore lived next door. "I heard gunshots. My son was still sleeping with me at that time. I grabbed him and got on the floor cause I didn't know where they were coming from, I just knew they were close," she said.

Marcus Hall lived across the street. "I had heard an automobile swerve like [makes car noises]," he said.

Keith Smithers lived directly behind Kiana Marshall's house. He testified when he heard gunshots, he went out of his back door and saw a four-door, brownish-gray Honda Accord driving off.

"A car crossing over off of Lynah Street onto Barton Street. It was right at the corner and was accelerating," Smithers said.

Hampton's lawyers said he was at his home in Yamacraw Village at the time of the shooting, and could not have been the shooter.

Abney's lawyers said he is innocent and did not shoot anyone.

The trial continued with the questioning of two acquaintances of Butler and a forensics officer Monday afternoon.

Witness testimony will continue Tuesday.

The trial is expected to last through the week.

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