Amid all the contradictory statements and “I-don’t-recall” responses that came out of the second week of testimony in the trial of Terrell Jones, one of the other people who prosecutors say participated in the robbery of Andrew Graham asserted several times that he himself was at the scene of the crime.
“For the fifth time, yes,” said Joseph Martin, saying he was present at the shooting that killed the 23-year-old Centennial man, in response to questions on the witness stand.
Meanwhile, another defendant convicted in the incident continued to maintain she was not responsible for the death.
“I feel like since day one I’ve been saying I’m innocent and I’ve been put in situations where (I have) to continue to give you guys what you want,” Clarissa Lockhart said in response to a question from the prosecution.
Graham, a University of Colorado graduate who had plans for grad school, was found fatally shot about 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 6, 2009, in the front yard of a home in the Willow Creek neighborhood of Centennial near County Line Road and Yosemite Street.
In a case that doesn’t appear to rely on physical evidence, the varying stories of people called as witnesses have taken center stage.
Jones’ trial in Arapahoe County District Court started in early May and could run for weeks, possibly until June 2, according to the state judicial branch website.
Here’s a look at some key moments from the second week of the trial.
‘I was there’
Martin took questions on the witness stand over the course of four separate days, largely in response to Jones’ defense attorney, who sought to paint Martin as someone who made up stories.
Martin met with investigators and testified in court hearings 11 times from 2009 to January 2017, and along the way, he changed his story on Jones’ involvement, said Evan Zuckerman, an attorney for Jones.
“Naming Terrell one day, not naming him another day — this is the defense case: It is unreliable, inconsistent statements,” Zuckerman said in court.
The responses “I don’t remember” and “I don’t recall” became Martin’s standard answers on the stand as Zuckerman peppered him with questions, playing clips of Martin’s interviews with law enforcement and quoting from transcripts of what he told authorities in the past.
The defense recounted an exchange from a transcript in 2011, when Martin was asked about having said Jones was at the scene.
“I don’t know … Well, first, they asked me a question and I just told them,” Martin had said, according to the defense.
He was then asked whether he was just “making this stuff up,” and he replied: “Yes ma’am, I was,” adding he was “just young and dumb at the time,” the defense recited.
Asked in court whether he recalls saying that, Martin merely said: “That’s what’s in the transcripts.”
Martin remarked that statements of his were “in the transcript” rather than directly answering questions many times, a practice that the jury asked Martin to clarify.
“It was in the transcript, so it has my name on there … I had to have said it if it was in the transcripts,” Martin said.
At one point, Martin had spoken to one of the deputies who accused him of being at the scene, and Martin responded: “I was on the f---ing scene? Are you f---ing serious?” according to the defense.
Despite all the back and forth, Martin told the jury: “I was there. I pled guilty to what I did.”
Martin had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, taking what’s called a “plea deal” to cut the amount of time in prison he faced, according to the defense. Colorado’s 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office dismissed a murder-related charge because Martin made the plea deal, the defense noted.
The agreement also outlined that Martin would cooperate in the cases of Allen Ford, Lockhart and Jones, and give “truthful and complete” testimony, the defense said. (Like Martin’s case, Lockhart and Allen’s cases regarding Graham’s death didn’t go to trial.)
Regarding Martin previously not pointing at Jones as being the shooter, the prosecution asked Martin whether he “suddenly remembered” that Jones was the shooter in 2015 or he just decided to cooperate.
“As things moved on in time, I (decided) to be fully cooperative and 100%,” Martin responded.
Chris Wilcox, a prosecutor with the DA’s office, noted Martin was asked whether he felt he needed to “keep the DA’s office happy.” He pushed back on that idea.
“How many times did you and I meet to discuss your testimony?” Wilcox asked.
“None,” Martin responded.
Martin was not provided with a “script or list of what you need to testify about,” Wilcox argued.
Martin didn’t see Graham get shot — he just says he heard it, the defense noted.
Jones “was the only one with a gun,” Martin said.
One topic did elicit a particularly unique response from Martin: whether guns were returned to Martin from Jones and Ford that involved another person.
Martin initially said he “never did” give guns to Ford and Jones.
But when asked whether he acted as a “broker or middleman of guns” that he got to Jones and Ford or got back from them, he said: “I choose not to answer that question.”
But he later said, “Yeah, I wasn’t the middleman,” and said he didn’t give guns to Jones and Ford on Nov. 5 and he didn’t get guns back from them that he gave to another person. (The date was apparently in reference to 2009.)
Details ‘were made up’
Martin testified that Lockhart was involved in the incident, but Lockhart continued to argue she was not responsible.
Lockhart replied “no sir” when asked whether she participated in the robbery and whether she participated in the homicide.
She said she made different statements over the years, saying she acknowledged she was present and witnessed Graham’s death in the past.
“The things that I did say to them were made up, and I feel like I addressed that right after that after the interrogation,” Lockhart said on the witness stand.
“I volunteered to take a polygraph,” Lockhart said. (Whether a polygraph test was taken was not detailed in court while Lockhart was on the stand.)
Jones’ trial marked the first time that Lockhart has testified under oath about what happened in the case and the statements she has made, the defense noted.
Lockhart didn’t see Jones allegedly shoot Graham, she said, adding that she put herself as being involved in a murder because she didn’t want to risk life in prison.
As with Martin, she testified in Jones’ trial because it was part of her deal with the DA’s office to get the murder-related charge against her dismissed, the defense noted.
She pleaded guilty to a pattern of racketeering, and in return, the DA’s office dismissed a count related to murder, the defense noted.
The first week of the trial and earlier details, including outcomes for defendants other than Jones, are covered in Colorado Community Media’s previous story at tinyurl.com/TrialWeek1.