Monday, Nov. 19, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The jury has reached a verdict for the gunman accused of shooting and killing an elderly Hephzibah man in May 2011.
After more than three hours of deliberation, the jury found Joseph Jordan guilty of murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. The judge sentenced Jordan to two life terms plus five years for the weapons charge.
Jordan apologized to the family of 81-year-old Johnny Luckey but showed no emotion during the reading of the verdict or the sentencing.
The state rested Monday afternoon. The prosecutors' last witness was the GBI medical examiner who performed 81-year-old Johnny Luckey's autopsy.
Jurors also viewed the photos of a deceased Luckey with two gunshot wounds, one to the neck and one to the lower abdomen. The medical examiner told jurors that the gunshot to the neck struck his spinal cord and had he lived, Luckey would have been partially paralyzed. He then said the second bullet killed him in minutes.
A now 20-year-old Joseph Jordan had been on trial since Tuesday. The three others involved have pleaded guilty to breaking into the home on Hoods Lane.
In the defense's opening statement on Monday, they claimed Jordan participated in the armed robbery but had no idea Luckey would be shot.
Jordan claims the three others involved were close friends and he was only an acquaintance. He claims Tracy Lindsey was the shooter, but he took full responsibility because he feared for the safety of his family.
Jordan says Lindsey stood at the window for a few seconds before shooting through the window.
"I wasn't expecting him to do that," Jordan said.
Jordan says he met Linsdey through Artavious Feazell and had only known him for about a week. He says he had only known Feazell for two to three weeks. In his testimony, Jordan said Feazell came up with the idea initially and that he said his family member worked in the home.
During the cross-examination, the prosecutor accused Jordan of lying and changing stories.
When asked who got the gun, Jordan says he was the one who got it and gave it to Lindsey. Jordan claims the gun was there for protection, not murder.
Although Jordan claims he did not shoot Luckey, the prosecutor accused him of standing by and doing nothing while the shooting happened.
According to Jordan, two lock boxes were taken from the home after the break-in and that they all went to a friend's home to wait before going to First Friday that night. Jordan says there were only papers inside and no one got away with any money.
This is a different story that what was revealed in court on Friday. On Friday, jurors heard a recorded interview between Jordan and an investigator. In the tape, Jordan said he was told Luckey had a a lot of money. Jordan had recently been kicked out so he needed money. He also told the investigator if he had to do it all over again, he'd do it alone. In the tape, Jordan admitted to shooting Luckey through the window and then again once in the house.
The three other teens who were involved have since pleaded guilty to their role. As part of their pleas, the trio testified against Jordan in court on Friday.
When Feazell took to the stand Friday, he pleaded the Fifth.
Lindsey testified that once at the house, Jordan pointed the gun at the window and into the living room where Luckey was seated on the couch, watching TV. Lindsey then said Jordan kicked in the door and shot him again in the stomach. He said while the other boys went into the rooms, Jordan held a gun to Luckey. Lindsey said he believed Luckey was still alive at the time because his chest was moving, but he said it could have been the oxygen tank.
The third co-defendant, 18-year-old Rufus Van said they saw Luckey as an easy target because of his age. He told the jurors that they went to First Friday after the robbery.
News 12 will keep you updated as the trial continues.