3 tell Howard court they saw defendant shoot at victim

January 30, 2008|By Tyeesha Dixon

Howard County prosecutors began presenting evidence yesterday in the murder trial of Monti Mantrice Fleming, and three witnesses testified in the Ellicott City courtroom that they saw Fleming shoot at Shawn Edward Powell several times the night Powell was found fatally shot in August 2006.

Fleming, 16, of Columbia, is charged as an adult in the killing of Powell, 18, of Columbia. Fleming is charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and handgun violations.

The witnesses said they saw Fleming and Powell argue before Fleming hit Powell in the head with a liquor bottle, then shot at him four or five times while chasing him.

Before the trial began yesterday, Howard County Circuit Judge Louis A. Becker denied a motion filed by Fleming's attorneys that claimed firearm and tool mark identification procedures historically accepted by courts in the state are too subjective and not scientific enough.

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