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Published: Tuesday, 8/28/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Toledoan testifies he was shot by murder suspect

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Testifying that he still had the bullet inside his body, Robee Ware told a Lucas County Common Pleas Court jury today that it was Kevin James who fired shots on a March night that put him in the hospital for three weeks and resulted in his friend’s death.

An emotional Mr. Ware testified as one of three witnesses on the first day of James’ aggravated murder trial. James, 21, is charged with one count of murder and three counts of felonious assault, each with a gun specification.

He is charged with the March 16 death of Montrese Moore, 19, at the Gas & Go at Cherry and Bancroft streets, during a shooting in which Mr. Ware and Creonna Ballard were injured.

Mr. Ware broke down on the stand as he recalled going to his friend’s side outside of a SUV parked in front of the gas station. He testified that he attempted to get Mr. Moore away from the vehicle when he heard shots.

“I remember when he shot, I felt it,” he said, pointing to James as the shooter. “After I got shot, I heard more shots.”

Mr. Ware testified that he was shot in the abdomen and after three surgeries and nearly 20 days in the hospital, doctors were unable to remove the bullet.

Assistant Prosecutor Louis Kountouris told the jury of all women during opening statements that videos taken from the gas station surveillance system would show a crowd gathering at the gas station on the unseasonably warm night. He noted that not only would the victims point to James as the shooter but so would the driver of the car that James was riding in.

Defense attorney Frank Simmons asked jurors to scrutinize the witnesses’ testimony and look for inconsistencies. He asked that the jurors consider who among the witnesses may have a “motive” for testifying.

A video of the incident was played for jurors that showed several people – including Mr. Moore – at an SUV in the parking lot. The video further showed them running away and Mr. Ware falling to the ground and rolling.

Mr. Moore ran from the scene but collapsed on Cherry Street a short distance away. In addition to Mr. Ware, the driver of the vehicle testified that it was James in her vehicle and that he was the only one that night who she saw had a gun.

Testimony is scheduled to continue Wednesday. Judge James Bates is presiding over the trial.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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