The attorney for a College Park man charged with killing his baby’s mother in July 2010 told Clayton County jurors Tuesday that the defendant’s girlfriend committed the crime to get the woman out of his life.
In his opening statement, defense attorney Neil Smith told jurors that Errol Alexis Moore Jr. didn’t kill Janell Aaron. Smith said Moore’s girlfriend, who has not been charged in connection with Aaron’s death, killed her.
“She told him, ‘You couldn’t choose. She ain’t coming back,’ ” Smith said the girlfriend told Moore, who was intoxicated following a party. “She confessed to the killing and to where the body was.”
Smith said when Moore showed the girlfriend a note supposedly left by Aaron asking him to take care of their baby, she started to cry.
“So we are going to ask you to find him not guilty on all the counts but we can’t escape the count of concealing the death of another,” said Smith.
But Clayton County police Detective Tom Martin said Moore confessed to “choking her out” during an Oct. 7 interview at police headquarters. Martin said Moore left her body there and returned later in a borrowed SUV. Moore allegedly wrapped the body in a comforter, put it in a blue plastic tote and abandoned it behind a local cemetery.
Moore led police to Aaron’s body and was charged with murder later that same night, Detective Daryl Childs testified Tuesday morning.
Childs described finding the body inside a blue plastic tote at the back of Sherwood Cemetery off Tara Boulevard.
“You could see the tote with the comforter tucked inside,” he said. “You could smell the odor of decomposition. You could see bones and stuff inside the tote.”
Clayton County Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Thurston, who told jurors in his opening statement that the tote was three-quarters filled with bodily fluids, asked if any flesh remained.
“No,” said Childs.
The remains were identified as Aaron’s through her dental records and a metal rod implanted in her back at 16 to correct scoliosis.
Witnesses testified Tuesday that Aaron and Moore met in 2008 while students at Open Campus. They carried on a volatile, off and on relationship through the birth of their daughter in February 2010. Each had other relationships but continued seeing each other because of their baby.
But when Aaron exerted freedom from Moore to establish herself as an independent working woman who didn’t have to rely on his financial support, Moore snapped, said police.