Corey Lamar Johnson who was allegedly standing guard with a rifle during a drug deal that resulted in one man getting killed and another wounded is on the stand.
Johnson, a parolee, began his testimony at 11:30 a.m. and resumes at 1:30 p.m. after the lunch break. Johnson is on trial for murder.
Prosecutors say the alleged triggerman who killed Michael Wade was co-defendant Brian Starks. Johnson and Terrance "Terry" Deshun Morrow were also charged with Wade's murder.
Johnson and Morrow are accused of aiding and abetting during the commission of a robbery that resulted in the fatal shooting of Wade and the wounding of Kenneth Pecaro on Nov. 9, 2009.
Prosecutors contend that the three defendants went to meet with drug dealers Wade and his friend and gambling buddy Darrell Babagay to rob them. Wade and Babagay wanted to buy 6.6 pounds of cocaine for $55,500 and Pecaro who knew Starks from prison was setting up the drug deal with Starks.
Johnson who has short wavy black hair and a mustache testified that he had a sixth grade education, likes to write both fiction and nonfiction and is a tattoo artist.
"That's my majority of support," he said.
He described his relationship with Starks who he knows as Bilal or "Black" as not being close and that the last drug deal that they did together was in 2003. Johnson said his dealings with Starks were more about business, and he never socialized with him.
However, Johnson said he was close to Morrow and his family and hung around with Morrow to get away from bad people.
"I've got a bad habit of hanging with people I shouldn't be handing around," Johnson said.
Johnson told jurors that he was convicted in 1996 for having a firearm and in 2004 for selling drugs. He said he dealt in small quantities of cocaine and was the middleman between the drug user and the dealer.
Starks finished testifying late this morning.