By Linda Looney-Bond
The first of four defendants accused of torturing and killing a Morehouse College student in July 2006 is on trial in Clayton County Superior Court.
Prosecutors say Miles Allen, of Atlanta, participated in the beating, stomping and stabbing of Carlnell Walker, 23, at Walker's home on Glenshire Circle in Riverdale.
Walker was also allegedly bound, gagged, doused with a flammable liquid, and left to die in the trunk of a car in his garage, where his body was discovered July 8, 2006, according to testimony in the trial.
Allen, a former Morehouse student, is charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, armed robbery, kidnapping and burglary, according to Executive Assistant District Attorney Jason Green, who is prosecuting the case along with Assistant District Attorneys Katie Powers and Anece Baxter White.
Green said the motive was robbery. "Carlnell Walker had been in a car accident, and had apparently been bragging that he was getting the money from that settlement," Green said. He said he did not know what amount of money the defendants had allegedly hoped to get from Walker.
Attorney Michael Rubin, of the law firm of Montlick and Associates, testified Wednesday that prior to Walker's death, Walker was being treated for injuries sustained in the March 2006 automobile accident, and had not received a settlement as a result of the crash.
Co-defendants Keith Roberts, Breylon Garland, and Theodore Holliman will be tried separately, according to Green. Roberts and Garland are also former Morehouse students, according to police.
All four defendants are being held in the Clayton County Jail, Green said.
Holliman took the stand Wednesday, day three of Allen's trial, and testified that he and Allen were the first to arrive at Walker's house the night of the incident. He told the court that he and Allen broke into the home and hid until Walker came home.
"Miles used a credit card to get in the door," Holliman told the court.
He said when Walker arrived home, Allen attacked him. "Miles cut the light off and punched Carlnell in the back of the head," he said. "Miles started banging his head on the ground."
Holliman said the violence escalated when Roberts and Garland arrived at the house.
"Keith started questioning him [Walker] about the money. Miles grabbed the knife and turned the knife in his hand. Breylon stabbed Carlnell in the leg, and Keith Roberts smacked him in the head with a hammer," Holliman said.
Holliman testified that he stood by smoking "weed" and did not participate in the attack. "The stuff that was going on in there ... it wasn't supposed to go down like that. I didn't want to be a part of it," he said.
Allen's defense attorney, Herbert Adams, during cross examination, asked Holliman whether his testimony was given in exchange for a plea deal of any kind. Holliman said that he had not made a deal, and was testifying voluntarily.
Green asked him how much money they were able to get from Walker.
"Twenty-five dollars," Holliman said. "Miles got it out of his wallet."
Clayton County Police Investigator Ken Chapel testified that he processed the crime scene. He said that he found blood throughout various parts of the house, including the living room, the hallway, the hallway bathroom, and the master bedroom.
Prosecutors tendered into evidence police video and photos showing blood in various parts of the house.
Chapel said that he compared bloody palm prints and fingerprints found on the walls of the house to known prints of Miles Allen.
"It was my conclusion that the bloody palm print on the south hallway wall was made by none other than Mr. Miles Allen," Chapel said.
The trial is scheduled to continue today at 9 a.m., before Clayton County Superior Court Judge Deborah Benefield.