A Jackson County jury has just started deliberations in the capital murder trial of Spencer O'Brian Lawrence, accused in the Oct. 5, 2009, shooting death of Jermaine Jebon "J.J." Kelly at a Moss Point home.
The jury retired to deliberate after hearing closing arguments in the case as well as jury instructions.
Lawrence and three others were indicted on charges of capital murder in the killing. The two others, Jermaine "Dark Skin" Sims and James "Foo" Johnson, will be tried at a later date.
A fourth suspect, Myron "Dog Pound" Johnson, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to capital murder and robbery. He was a witness for the state in the trial.
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The defense rested after hearing testimony from Lawrence and Myron "Dog Pound" Johnson.
In his testimony, Lawrence denied any involvement in the Oct. 5, 2009, robbery and shooting death of Jermaine Jebon "J.J." Kelly.
Lawrence said Sims told him when he picked him up at his Lucedale home that he was headed to Moss Point to pick up money from a drug dealer, later identified as Kelly.
He said Sims picked him up in a rental car, and another man he later learned was James "Foo" Johnson, was driving a Jeep Cherokee, which belonged to Sims. Myron "Dog Pound" Johnson, another suspect in the case, also was in the SUV, Lawrence said.
Lawrence said he never went to Kelly's home with the other men, but instead was sitting in a rental car Sims had picked him up in. The car, he said, was parked outside a club in Escatawpa, where he claimed he waited until all three returned.
District Attorney Tony Lawrence questioned Lawrence's testimony, even asking him why the suspects would go to Kelly's home in a vehicle that would trace back to Sims instead of the rental car.
Lawrence said he at first lied to authorities about what he knew after overhearing conversations because Sims had threatened to kill him and his family.
The suspect provided that and other testimony this morning.
The Sun Herald updates this story as details become available.