A man was shot and killed in December 2011 after an argument at a dice game in Elmore County.
The shooter, Kelvin Mitchell of Elmore County was sentenced to 20-years in prison for killing 30-year old Quintin Thomas of Wetumpka, and now Robert Griffin, 57, of Tallassee is on trial for murder as an accomplice.
Wednesday was the first day of Griffin's trial and the courtroom was packed with emotional family members eagerly listening to find some sense of closure from the jury's decision.
“He was a good person,” Thomas' cousin Beverly Reed said sobbing. But out of all the people in the courtroom, the victim's mother couldn't hold back her eyes welling up with tears throughout the entire day.
“No matter what, I can't bring my son back,” said Cathy Thomas, the victim's mother. “No matter what they say in there, I can't bring him back, I can't bring him back.”
The prosecution called Kelvin Mitchell to the stand. He recalled what happened the night he killed Thomas more than two years ago. Mitchell was convicted of murder in September of 2012 and is serving 20 years in prison, pending any deals cut with the state for testifying.
“If he would have never given me the gun it would have never happened,” Mitchell told the jury.
But there's a twist, the prosecution and the victim's family members say Griffin was Quintin Thomas' biological father. However, Griffin's sister says her brother never admitted that Thomas was his son.
“We knew that he paid child support, and that's because Robert was married and didn't want his wife to know about that, so he just paid the child support and didn't question it, never had a blood test,” Ethel Pressley.
Cathy Thomas said Griffin paid child support for their son for 10 years, but never got a blood test to affirm Quintin Thomas was his son. “From 8 years until he was 18 years old, he paid it,” she said.
Investigators say the victim and two defendants were gambling at a home in Elmore County, when the shooter and the victim started arguing over winnings of $100. Then the state says Griffin gave Mitchell his gun outside, before Mitchell re-entered the home and fatally shot Thomas four times.
However the defense says Griffin didn't give Kelvin Mitchell the gun, instead Mitchell stole it out of Griffin's car.
But the victim's mother says regardless of the verdict, nothing will ever bring her closure.
“No matter what they say in there, the 12 jurors, no matter what they say, it wont change my heart, the way I feel. That was my child, what if it was one of they children and they been in my shoes, how would they feel?” she wept.
At the end of Wednesday, the prosecution rested their case, but come Thursday the defense will continue to call witnesses. The jury is expected to begin deliberating Thursday and potentially reach a verdict by the days end.
Stay with Alabama News Network for the latest on the trial at Noon, 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.