Trial begins in 2011 drug slaying

Posted on15 May 2013.

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A murder trial began Tuesday in District Court for the remaining suspect in a 2011 drug-associated slaying.

Charles Eubanks is on trial for his role in the stabbing death of Michael “Flat Top” Frasher as nicely as the attempted murder of Antionette Bell, Frasher’s girlfriend at the time. Eubanks is alleged to have joined numerous other people on Could 1, 2011 to corner and kill Frasher as a indicates of furthering a meth dealer’s grip on the regional drug trade.

The incident allegedly unfolded in a tiny trailer behind Bell’s residence in the 1600 block of West Donner Street.

Eubanks is facing charges of murder, attempted murder and attempted robbery following he and a man named Troy Jackson have been allegedly sent to Bell’s trailer on orders from rival methamphetamine dealer Michael Maxwell Jr., for whom Jackson reportedly worked. Each Maxwell and Jackson have already pleaded guilty in the case.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Kirk Vitto told jurors in his opening argument that though Frasher was a drug dealer and Bell a drug user, there was no excuse for the brutal attack.

“The fact that someone might be on the reduced finish of a best social strata does not excuse what occurred right here,” he said. “It is not an excuse for murder that the victim or witnesses are possibly what other folks may possibly characterize as ‘bad individuals.’ Michael Frasher was slaughtered. He was pointlessly brutalized by the defendant and his cohorts, which neither the victim nor Antionette nor the mixture of the two presented any threat to them. The proof will show it was frankly exactly as the defendant himself characterized it. You will hear a witness testify he said it was straightforward. Not only effortless, but deliberate and premeditated.”

Vitto showed the jury photos of Bell and Frasher from just before the 2011 incident as properly as images of the blood-soaked trailer and porch of the neighbor’s home exactly where Bell ran for help to illustrate how brutal the attack was.

“Jackson and the defendant engaged Michael Frasher and Antionette in conversation. You are going to hear testimony that the defendant came back from the white van at 1 point to contact Michael Maxwell. Vicky Garcia dialed his quantity, she overheard one particular side of the conversation and when the conversation was via, the defendant said Maxwell had just provided him the green light. Vicky Garcia will take the witness stand and testify at one point, she rolled up the van window in an attempt to muffle the sound of what was occurring in the little trailer. The evidence will show although Jackson was focused on Antionette, savaging her with a knife, the defendant was also savaging someone with a knife, primarily based on the proof you’ll hear. Antionette remembers hearing while Jackson was stabbing her, ‘She will not die.’ Who was he speaking to?” Vitto said.

The prosecutor went on to tell the jury the case was charged in such a way that Eubanks could be discovered guilty of the crimes he had been charged with in two distinct approaches. That either they believed, primarily based on the proof, Eubanks was truly stabbing Frasher, or that he aided and abetted his co-defendant Jackson by encouraging him or standing by as Jackson killed Frasher and attempted to kill Bell.

“I will be asking you to discover the defendant guilty of the murder of Michael Frasher, attempted murder of Antionette Bell and attempted robbery,” Vitto stated.

The defense, nonetheless, presented a various version of events they say played out.

Eubanks’ lawyer, Las Vegas attorney Benjamin Durham, told jurors his client had just met Jackson and the other actors a number of days prior at a neighborhood casino, exactly where they started speaking and bonded more than shared experiences such as their tattoos. Eubanks allegedly required a ride back to Las Vegas, but as an alternative of heading straight back decided to remain the weekend with the co-defendants exactly where he became wrapped up in this plot to murder Frasher.

“Charles Eubanks was just along for the ride,” Durham told jurors.

Even though Eubanks was present at Bell’s trailer on the day of the murder, his lawyer said, he had nothing to do with the attack on Frasher or Bell.

“We’re here simply because there are clearly two sides to every single story,” Durham stated. “We’re going to do our job through cross-examination to locate out the truth behind what occurred in the death of Michael Frasher … Charles Eubanks never entered this camper exactly where these crimes occurred. Charles Eubanks was standing outside the complete time … In his own statement that Mr. Vitto already played for you stated ‘I saw what happened, I was there.’ The truth of the matter is just getting present at the scene of the crime doesn’t make you an aider or abettor or an accomplice to a crime.”

As soon as the jurors heard opening arguments, witness testimony in the state’s case against Eubanks opened with an ex-girl friend of Frasher’s who had seen him the night ahead of the murder.

Testimony was planned to continue all through Tuesday.

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