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Published: Friday, 6/28/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Gang member takes stand against friends in Moody Manor trial

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
James Moore testifies during the trial of Keshawn Jennings and Antwaine Jones in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. James Moore testifies during the trial of Keshawn Jennings and Antwaine Jones in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
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A Toledo man took the witness stand today to testify against his friends in a shooting case last August at Moody Manor apartment complex that resulted in the death of a 1-year-old girl.

“Did you know there was a shooting at Moody Manor on Aug. 9?” Andy Lastra, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, asked James Moore.

“Yeah,” the 21-year-old replied.

“Do you know who did the shooting?” Mr. Lastra asked.

“Keshawn and Antwaine,” Moore said simply.

Keshawn Jennings, 21, of 244 Wasaon St., and Antwaine Jones, 19, of 3145 Cottage Ave., are on trial in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, each charged with aggravated murder, murder, improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation, attempted murder, and four counts of felonious assault, each with gun specifications. They face life in prison if convicted.

Moore, who was indicted on the same charges, is not on trial because he agreed to testify against his friends in exchange for a three-year prison sentence for manslaughter, he said in court.

Moore testified that he was at the North Toledo apartment complex the night of Aug. 9 when another friend got a call saying there was a rival gang member at the complex, which is Manor Boyz territory. He said Mr. Jennings and Mr. Jones were to shoot into an apartment where the rival was supposed to be, but mistakenly shot into the unit where the two little girls were asleep in front of the first-floor glass patio doors.

Killed was Keondra Hooks. Her sister, Leondra, was shot but survived.

Moore claimed he was not carrying a gun that night, that he did not fire one, that he only drove a van belonging to Mr. Jennings’ grandmother around the block where he picked up Mr. Jennings and Mr. Moore on nearby Vermont Street after he heard the gunfire.

Ronny Wingate, defense attorney for Mr. Jennings, asked Moore repeatedly about all the statements he had given investigators since October, almost of all of which Moore admitted were lies.

“The reason you are testifying here today is you don’t want to go to prison?” he asked Moore.

“Yeah,” Moore replied, adding that he’d been to prison for a prior conviction for carrying a concealed weapon and did not want to go back.

“You’ll do what it takes not to go back to prison for the rest of your life?” Mr. Wingate asked him.

“Yeah,” Moore replied.

The trial, which started Tuesday and is expected to last two weeks, resumes Monday. The jury now consists of seven women and five men after a second female juror was excused Friday for medical reasons and replaced by a male juror.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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