The big news in the trial of jewelry-store manager Steve Toms' alleged killer and an accomplice charged in two armed robberies didn't come from the witness stand Friday.
It came from an attorney representing one of the defendants, and it came so fast and so low-key that hardly anyone noticed.
The two men on trial are Michael Jerome "Big Smoove" Johnson, who's accused of killing Toms during a Nov. 15, 2011, armed robbery of the 3717 Gentian Blvd. Gold & Silver Trading Center, and Dimitrius Morris "Slim Deezy" Gordon, who with Johnson faces charges in two other armed robberies.
Gordon is not charged in Toms' slaying -- yet. But that could change.
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The trial's second day of testimony started Friday with Gordon's attorney Jennifer Curry telling Judge William Rumer she needed more "discovery" or evidence from the Toms' case, because prosecutors told her Gordon will be indicted in Toms' death.
It was surprising news because Gordon already is being tried with Johnson, who already is being tried for Toms' fatal shooting. It's not often a defendant's indicted during a trial.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Cooley declined to comment on the matter.
Curry said prosecutors told her they had checked the law and found it permissible to indict Gordon while he's on trial, though they could not try him for Toms' slaying now. They would have to wait until the current trial ends, and then try Gordon as Johnson's accomplice in Toms' homicide.
Cooley in court said Curry was welcome to any discovery she needs. That ended the discussion of Gordon's possible indictment.
Friday's court testimony focused on the police investigation into the May 5, 2012, armed robbery of the Diamond Exchange at 4227 Victory Drive, in which both defendants are charged.
Police testified they found no fingerprints of any value at the crime scene, and lifted only a partial fingerprint from a stolen car they suspect was used in the robbery.
After the 3:15 p.m. robbery, detectives examining the store's surveillance video got a description of the robbers' getaway car and put out an alert, so patrol officers would be on the lookout for it.
About six hours later, police in Phenix City saw a black Lincoln LS matching the description and tried to stop it. The driver fled, initiating a chase that ended when he wrecked in the median of the U.S. 280 Bypass, then got out and ran.
Officers ran him down, identifying him later as Daequavian Solomon. They determined the car had been stolen two or three weeks earlier in Phenix City, and its tag had been stolen from a car parked at apartments on North Lumpkin Road in Columbus.
Solomon later would figure prominently in the Toms' homicide investigation, as Columbus Police Sgt. Drew Tyner said he became suspicious of Johnson during interviews in which Johnson pinned Toms' homicide on Solomon. Johnson's account of the robbery and shooting, which he claimed to have heard from Solomon, was so detailed and accurate that he must have been there, Tyner said.
Called to the witness stand Friday, Tyner said police determined the Lincoln LS that Solomon wrecked in Phenix City was the same car used in the Diamond Exchange robbery, though he did not say how investigators linked the two by any match other than the vehicle's description.
He testified also that when police later caught Gordon with one of the 36 guns robbers took from the Diamond Exchange, Gordon claimed he bought the 9mm for $60 from Johnson, who had a duffel bag full of pistols in his North Lumpkin Road apartment.
Tyner said Gordon also told police that the day of the robbery, he got a call from Johnson, who told him not to answer any cellphone calls from Solomon because Solomon was driving a stolen car. Gordon told investigators Johnson said he'd warned Solomon not to take the car because it was "hot."
Johnson and Gordon also face charges in the April 11, 2012, robbery of the Winn Dixie store at 5750 Milgen Road, but Cooley has yet to present any evidence in that case.
The prosecutor said she would present the cases in reverse order, with the most recent first and the earlier incidents later, so that the Toms' homicide comes last.
The trial resumes Monday in Rumer's Government Center courtroom.