Jury in Fredericksburg murder trial shown video depicting shooting scene

by | Jul 10, 2024 | ALLFFP, Courts and crime, Fredericksburg

In the final moments of Jasiah Smith’s life, bicyclists pedaled loops and residents walked their dogs through a parking lot in the 400 block of Chadwick Court.

The otherwise idyllic Sunday afternoon was shattered at 2:55 p.m. on March 26, 2023, when a group of approximately seven teens broke into a sprint at the sound of gunshots.

On Wednesday afternoon, jurors were shown video depicting the scene before and during the shooting, as well as its immediate, chaotic aftermath. Aaron Carter, 21, and Lorenzo Brooks, 18, face charges of first-degree murder, as well as use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

The footage, which combined various feeds from three Night Owl home video systems obtained by the Fredericksburg Police Department from townhouses on Denton Circle, also appeared to show two individuals hopping a fence and tossing a blue bundle down a hill.

While the shooting itself was obscured in the video shown to jurors, Kerri Farr had an unobstructed view.

Farr, the Commonwealth’s only eyewitness, testified Wednesday morning that she and her husband regularly parked at Wegmans grocery store and walked to downtown Fredericksburg for lunch. They were returning from such an outing on the afternoon in question when she saw “five young men standing talking by a car.”

When Farr next glanced back at the group, she said they’d formed a semi-circle around one person.

“I watched somebody raise their arm and shoot him,” she said. “I watched them empty the rest of the gun into his body.”

Commonwealth’s attorneys Libby Humphries and Stephen Eubank called witnesses well into the evening, with Judge Gordon Willis intervening to offer the jury a 30-minute pizza break at 6:30 p.m.

When testimony resumed, firearms expert Megan Korneke said that only two weapons — Glock 9mm handguns — were used in the shooting. The guns match the two recovered by police following a March 31, 2023 search warrant at and around Brooks’ residence.

An expert from the Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office also testified that Smith suffered 11 gunshot wounds.

The trial is set to resume Thursday at 9 a.m., with the Commonwealth concluding its case before defense attorneys Jim Ilijevich, who represents Carter, and Tara-Beth Coleman, who represents Brooks, call witnesses.

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