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Fight between 2 women led to murder, witness testifies


Ray A. Gott, left, is brought into court at the Lucas County Courthouse to begin his trial in the shooting death of Edward Christopher Lee and the injury of Sherlon McKenzie on April 4.

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Nearly a year after he ran from the gunfire that wounded his leg and killed his brother-in-law, Sherlon McKenzie still breaks down when he remembers that night.

Mr. McKenzie was one of several witnesses who testified in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Tuesday during the first day of testimony in the murder trial of Ray A. Gott.

Gott, 47, is charged with murder with a gun specification for the April 4 shooting death of Edward Christopher Lee. He also faces a felonious assault charge for allegedly shooting Mr. McKenzie.

If convicted, Gott faces up to life in prison.

Mr. McKenzie, 31, testified that he was out with family and friends celebrating Lee's birthday when his fiancee was attacked by an ex-girlfriend -- Gott's daughter -- and her cousins.

The fight eventually led Mr. Mc- Kenzie, Lee, and others to the Moody Manor apartment complex where he said there was going to be a "one-on-one" fight between the women.

He said that once there, Gott approached Lee and spoke briefly before pulling out a gun and first shooting in the air.

Mr. McKenzie testified that he was running away when he was hit in the right leg by a bullet.

Mr. McKenzie then said that he saw Gott standing over his brother-in-law with the gun and heard another shot.

"He didn't mean any harm," a tearful Mr. McKenzie said of Lee's involvement in the incident. "He has nothing to do with nothing."

Mr. McKenzie acknowledged when questioned by defense attorney Charles McKinney that he and his brother-in-law had been "partying" much of the night and that they went to the Moody Manor that night so that the women could fight.

Mr. McKenzie said he did not hear Gott asking the group to leave but acknowledged that one of the women was holding a wooden club-like object when they arrived.

Also testifying Tuesday were several law enforcement officers who responded to the scene. The jury of nine men and three women are expected to hear testimony from additional witnesses when the trial resumes Wednesday with Judge Stacy Cook presiding.

Contact Erica Blake at: or 419-213-2134.

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