Trial begins for accused gunman charged with first-degree murder

JACKSON, Tenn. — Opening statements began Tuesday for the trial of Trimon Pruitt, who is accused in the December 2015 shooting death of Tony Willoughby near Allenton Heights Apartment Complex in midtown Jackson.

The court will hear from three key witnesses. One is a friend of Willoughby, and two others are alleged gang members. The jury first heard from Medical Examiner Miguel Laboy and Jackson Police Department Sgt. Chris Chestnut on the witness stand Tuesday afternoon.

Pruitt is charged with first-degree murder.

Police say Pruitt shot Willoughby multiple times. They found him lying on the side of the street along with several spent .40-caliber casings.

Investigators spoke with a man who told them he had driven Willoughby to the apartment complex to meet someone. The man told them it was during the meeting that a man approached Willoughby and started shooting.

Police found and talked to a witness who identified Pruitt as the gunman, according to court papers. The witness told officers Pruitt shot Willoughby multiple times and then chased him across the street and shot him again as he lay on the ground.

In April 2016, two of Pruitt’s alleged fellow gang members took the stand to testify against him during his preliminary hearing.

The two professed Vice Lord gang members testified that Pruitt shot Willoughby over a violation within the street gang. After hearing the testimony, the judge sent the case on to the grand jury.

Pruitt’s trial is expected to continue through Wednesday. Stay with WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News as the trial continues.

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