Murder trial begins

Attorneys began their opening statements in a murder case in Dougherty Superior Court at about 11:30 a.m. today.

Tavaress Sinqunce Jackson, 22, Kendrick Lewis Sanders and Lekisha Rhonecia White, both 19, face life in prison in connection with the shooting death of Dominic King, 24, on January 14.

A fourth man involved in the killing, Eugene Derrick Bell Jr., 19, confessed Monday to shooting King in the back twice with a handgun. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Although none of today's defendants shot the gun that killed King, they come under conspiracy to commit murder laws, Those laws generally state that conspirators in a murder are as guilty as the person who does the murder.

Matthew Breedon, assistant district attorney, made the opening statement for the prosecution. His points were that there was a stormy love triangle involving defendant White and her relationship with another woman, Debra Mulkey, who had also been involved with the murdered King.

In the midst of arguing about the triangle White conspired with her friends to kill King, Breedon said. When King arrived with a gun at her residence White called the other defendants including Bell. They arrived at 1910 Meadow Drive set to kill King, Breedon added.

James Finkelsten, Jackson's attorney, agreed that white had asked the other defendants to come over to her residence. However he said that she needed them for self-defense not for a premeditated murder.

Mulkey was also at White's apartment when King arrived "armed and looking for trouble," Finkelstein said.

According to Finkelstein, King was holding Mulkey and dragging her from a hallway into the living room when Bell and the two other male defendants arrived. Bell shot King defending Mulkey in front of about five witnesses, he added.

Judge Willie Lockette called a break for lunch until 2:15 p.m. when attorneys for White and Jackson could give their opening statements.