“It’s first degree [murder] because after shooting him four times, [Green] falls to the ground and [Miles] shoots him two more times in his back,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Liebman said. “And he carried [the gun] there and he carried it away, which is why the police didn’t find it.”
According to the government, Miles was dating Green’s girlfriend’s younger sister. Miles killed Green because Green told him to stay away from her, Liebman alleged.
But defense attorney Billy Ponds argued that Miles had no motive. He had multiple girlfriends at any given time, Ponds said. Miles would hardly have cared if he was told to stay away from just one of those girls.
“He’s no killer, he’s a lover,” Ponds told jurors in his closing arguments Wednesday. “Charge him as guilty of being a serial dater.”
Lawyers on both sides said the verdict hinges on which witnesses the jury believes.
Not one of Green’s friends who were with Green when he was killed identified Miles as the shooter, Ponds said. But Leibman accused them of weakness.
“You’ve been witness to some incredible cowardice live on the stand: Keith Archie, Trey Jackson and Duane Page,” the prosecutor said.
All three individuals testified that they never saw who shot their friend.
A YouTube clip that Leibman played featured Duane Page rapping in a music video discouraging people from snitching: “I never testify. I never take the stand. Yea, I live a crud life but I never speak my mind,”
“Is it really a surprise that Duane Page said, when he was in here testifying, that he didn’t see anything?” Leibman asked.
Leibman compared their cowardice with Misty Gibson, who testified in spite fear for her family’s lives. This fear was so great, Leibman said, that Gibson was willing to spend four days in jail and more than a week fleeing from court marshals to avoid taking the stand.
Misty Gibson testified Monday that she saw Andre Miles shoot Sandy Green III at the corner of 22nd Street and Savannah Street Southeast on April 30, 2012.
“Really this case is all about credibility of witnesses,” said Ponds, who argued that MPD’s $25,000 reward was reason enough for Gibson to lie.
Gibson had been refusing to testify since she was subpoenaed to appear on December 1. She was held in contempt for several days and faced charges of criminal contempt, obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact.
When she finally testified, she told Ponds she didn’t want the reward.
“You’ve been witness to an incredible act of courage, and that was Misty Gibson,” AUSA Leibman told the jury Tuesday.
“That’s her neighborhood. That’s where she lives, and she’s worried about her children, but she unequivocally told you who did it because she was there to see it,” the prosecutor continued.
“If you can’t find reasonable evidence to doubt what she’s saying, you’re done. He’s guilty.”