09/18/05 — Witness: Moore pulled trigger

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Witness: Moore pulled trigger

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on September 18, 2005 2:05 AM

A reluctant witness said she saw Marcus Moore shoot Jonathan Yarborough last year.

Kameshia Kornegay testified Friday in Wayne County Superior Court she saw Moore fire a shot that struck Yarborough in the shoulder or neck on April 16, 2004. She said she heard a second gunshot as she was running away.

Moore is charged with first-degree murder, but he does not face the death penalty. If he is convicted by the jury of nine women and three men of first-degree murder, he would be sentenced to life in prison. He also might be convicted of a lesser offense or acquitted.

Moore took the stand in his own defense earlier Friday and testified two shots were fired during a struggle in front of the defendant's home at 511 Denmark St. in Goldsboro. He admitted he had held the gun.

Ms. Kornegay, 25, was subpoenaed in August to testify in the trial that started Monday. When she did not show up, Judge Jay Hockenbury charged her with contempt and ordered her arrest. Ms. Kornegay was taken into custody Thursday and placed in the Wayne County Jail under $25,000 secured bond.

When Assistant District Attorney Matt Delbridge asked Ms. Kornegay why she did not appear when ordered, she said she "didn't want to get involved."

The witness said she saw the defendant argue with Yarborough. Ms. Kornegay testified that Moore then went inside the home, came back with a handgun and fired across a white car at Yarborough.

Ms. Kornegay said she saw Yarborough grab his shoulder and neck and fall to the ground. She said she then ran to a nearby store to buy cigarettes.

Ms. Kornegay was the final witness. Hockenbury met with the lawyers later Friday on possible charges and recessed court until Monday. The jury will return at 2 p.m. Monday to hear closing arguments.

Moore, who admitted he has a criminal record, testified he had been drinking wine earlier at a nearby store, and when he returned home, he saw people buying drugs in his driveway. He said he confronted Yarborough, who was standing next to the passenger side of a drug customer's white car, and told him not to sell drugs in his mother's yard.

Moore said he and Yarborough wrestled for control of the gun, but the defendant said he did not remember pulling the trigger. After the first shot, Moore said, the two still were wrestling on the ground. After the second shot, he said Yarborough fell off him.

The defendant told defense lawyer Geoff Hulse he ran to his girlfriend's house on George Street because "I was scared." He said he returned home and threw the .380 gun he had bought on the street under his mother's bed.

Delbridge asked Moore to re-enact how the shooting occurred. When Delbridge asked Moore to play the victim and said the prosecutor would play Moore's part, Hulse objected, saying the action "passed the bounds of reasonable cross-examination." Judge Hockenbury agreed and said Delbridge could not take part.

During the mid-morning recess, the leg irons under Moore's slacks were removed, and he demonstrated his part in the struggle to the jury. He said he was under Yarborough when the gun went off. After first saying he did not know where the gun was, he admitted that the gun was in his left hand at the time.