Witnesses say teen shot man in holdup

Witnesses testified Monday that they watched in disbelief as a 15-year-old shot a man during a robbery.

Antoine M. Thaxton, now 18, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to charges of murder and armed robbery.

Mr. Thaxton, whose trial began Monday, is accused of causing the June 9, 2006, death of 33-year-old Jason Harrington. The victim died less than two weeks after being shot in the chest.

Karen Lindsay testified that she was saying goodbye to Mr. Harrington at the front door of her Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard apartment about 6 a.m. on May 28, 2006, when she saw Mr. Thaxton run up with a gun in his hand.

"We were just stunned," she testified. Before Mr. Harrington had a chance to react, Mr. Thaxton shot him, Ms. Lindsay testified.

A woman who lives across from Ms. Lindsay testified that she had stepped out to get some fresh air that morning when she saw Mr. Thaxton near her door. He was pulling a mask or bandana over his face. She asked what he was doing but got no response, Liza Davis testified. She watched as Mr. Thaxton ran toward the victim with the gun.

Like Ms. Lindsay, Ms. Davis testified that she knew Mr. Thaxton from the neighborhood. Both women testified that they had no doubt he was the shooter.

Defense attorney Alexia Davis of the public defender's office questioned both women's ability to identify someone with a mask covering the lower part of his face. Both women admitted that they had ingested illegal drugs within hours of the shooting. Both had prior drug convictions.

Mr. Thaxton was arrested in North Carolina two days after Mr. Harrington died.

Testimony continues today.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.