Jurors expected to get murder trial case today|[06/25/08]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jurors were expected to begin deliberations today in the murder trial of a Vicksburg man who testified Tuesday that he was at the scene of a killing last summer to act as a mediator.

Matthew Nash, 29, told Judge Frank Vollor’s Warren County Circuit Court that he had no idea his half-brothers, Anthony Trevillion, 31, Armond Trevillion, 28, and Alonzo Trevillion, 35, all also charged in the killing, went to Justin Maurice Harris’ home at 1226 Grammar St. with guns or any intentions of killing.

“I was only there to be a mediator,” Nash said. “I didn’t have any animosity with either side.”

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Assistant District Attorney Dewey Arthur told jurors there was no way Nash could have not known that his brothers had guns as they walked toward Harris’ home, noting that the four approached the house together before multiple Ak-47 rounds and one 12-gauge shotgun round were fired into the home.

Nash, represented by Eugene Perrier of Vicksburg, testified that he also had no part in an earlier fight at a downtown bar, the New New Orleans Cafe, which is believed to have led to the killing.

Nash said he went to Harris’ home at about 3 a.m., after Anthony Trevillion came to him upset about the earlier fight. Anthony Trevillion and Harris had children by the same woman, according to testimony.

Nash was the last of nine people to take the stand Tuesday and one of two witnesses called by the defense. The other was a manager of the Sonic where Nash had been working for several months, who described Nash as a “reliable employee.”

Included in the seven witnesses called to the stand by the prosecution were Dr. Steven Hayne with the Mississippi State Crime Lab, law enforcement officers who investigated the crime scene, witnesses to the events leading up to the shooting and the two men in the home with Harris when the shots were fired.

Today’s activity in the courtroom was expected to start with Perrier and Arthur making closing arguments before jurors are handed the case.

Nash is the second of five co-defendants to go to trial. The first was Anthony Trevillion, who, on April 16, was convicted of murder, two counts of aggravated assault, shooting into an occupied dwelling and felony possession of a weapon. He was automatically sentenced to life for the murder conviction. He was later sentenced on the remaining charges, receiving 53 more years of prison time, which will run consecutively to the life sentence. Judge Vollor handed Nash the maximum prison term.

No trial dates have been set for Armond Trevillion, Alonzo Trevillion or 32-year-old Rufus Armstrong, who, according to testimony, is believed to have supplied the guns used in the killing and was in the car with the others when they went to Grammar Street. Nash’s trial began Monday with jury selection.