By Linda Looney-Bond
Jurors are scheduled to begin deliberations today, in Clayton County Superior Court, in the case of a former Morehouse College student accused of participating in the torture and murder of another Morehouse student in 2006.
Prosecutors say Miles Allen, 24, of Atlanta, participated in the beating, stomping and stabbing of Carlnell Walker, 23, at Walker's Glenshire Court home 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 is the first of four men to be tried in the case. Keith Roberts, Breylon Garland and Theodore Holliman will be tried separately, according to Clayton County Executive Assistant District Attorney Jason Green.
Roberts and Garland are also former Morehouse students, according to police.
According to a 13-count indictment against the four men, Walker's death was caused by hyperthermia sometime between June 21, 2006 and July 8, 2006, due to being trapped in the car trunk.
During closing arguments in Allen's trial Thursday, Green played a videotape of a Clayton County Police interview of Allen, that took place on July 20, 2006.
During the interview, Allen told police that "big money" was the motive for the attack. According to prosecutors, Walker had apparently bragged that he was expecting a settlement from a March, 2006 automobile accident.
Green reminded the jury, Thursday, of testimony by Clayton County Police Investigator Ken Chappell, that a bloody palm print at the crime scene matched a known palm print belonging to Allen.
"We have not only his print on the wall, but it's in the victim's DNA," Green said.
Allen's defense attorney, Herbert Adams, said during closing arguments that Allen was coerced into participating in the attack, and that he was afraid that Roberts would harm his family if he didn't go along with the plan.
"He [Allen] told the detective on the tape, 'I'm afraid for my family.' He told you that he was involved to a large degree, but he wasn't responsible for everything that happened," said Adams.
Allen is charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, armed robbery, kidnapping and burglary, according to Green.
Initially, the District Attorney's office was seeking the death penalty in the case, according to Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson.
"The prior administration withdrew the intent to seek the death penalty in late 2008," Lawson said. "He could, for sure, get at least three consecutive life sentences," she said.