11/01/13 — Witness arrested for 2011 murder

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Witness arrested for 2011 murder

By John Joyce
Published in News on November 1, 2013 1:46 PM

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Timothy Jerome Midgette walks through the halls of the Wayne County Courthouse Thursday after being taken into custody for the first-degree murder of Laquan Pearsall.

In a surprising turn of events, a witness in a murder trial in Wayne County Superior Court was arrested and charged with the murder after indicating on the stand that he was involved in the death of Laquan Devon Pearsall in September 2011.

Timothy Jerome Midgette, 20, was arrested Thursday in the hallway outside the courtroom immediately after his testimony.

The man who was on trial for Pearsall's death, Antonio Jamar Seaberry, 29, later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed robbery.

Midgette had been subpoenaed as a witness for the defense in the case.

Midgette testified first that he and Seaberry never plotted together to rob Pearsall-- exactly what the defense hoped he would say when they called him as a witness.

Under cross examination, however, Midgette unwittingly placed himself in the victim's car, admitted to having the cell phone from which Seaberry received several texts discussing the robbery before and after it happened, and to having been with the ex-girlfriend who testified in court that he told her that he killed Pearsall.

By the time Midgette was done testifying, the lead investigator in the case was waiting outside the courtroom, with an arrest warrant in hand.

Pearsall, 20, was shot and killed in the back parking lot of the Jefferson Court Apartments on Sept. 17, 2011.

Seaberry, who denied any involvement in the robbery-killing the first few times detectives interviewed him, eventually admitted to his role in the robbery but always maintained that Midgette was the one who pulled the trigger.

Seaberry will remain in jail until he testifies against Midgette to satisfy his plea agreement. Only then will he be sentenced to no more than 688 months -- 57 years -- in prison.

After the plea, Seaberry addressed the Pearsall family and tearfully apologized for his role in the murder. He begged for their forgiveness, prompting the family, and his own, to burst into tears.

"You're all right, baby," a member of the Pearsall family said.

Members of Seaberry's family spoke outside the courtroom on behalf of his mother, who was given a few moments behind closed doors with her son after he entered the guilty plea.

"His mom wanted him to take responsibility for what he did, which he did that. She just didn't want him held responsible for what he didn't do," a family member said afterward.

The victim's mother, Tamico Richardson, also spoke after the trial.

"I can finally start somewhere with closure," she said.

Ms. Richardson said she felt Seaberry was "very sincere" in his apology, but that she wanted the maximum sentence allowable for both him and Midgette.

She said she was aware that it would be another long wait until Midgette is brought to trial and that she would have to sit through this all again before beginning to feel a sense of closure.

"It's like holding my breath, still," she said.