FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Trial is underway for a South Florida man accused of gunning down a Boyd Anderson High student as he begged for his life.
Sitting beside his attorney, 20-year old Janard Orange appeared disinterested as witness after witness took the stand to describe the night they say he killed 16-year old Greg Smith.
It happened two years ago as Smith and several friends stood outside the high school in the early morning hours of April 3 after attending a talent show waiting for ride home. A car pulled up and Orange, who was 18 at the time, along with Terrance James and two other people allegedly robbed Smith and his friends at gun point.
“He kicked me in the ribs, he reached into my pockets,” recalled Cameron Mitchell.
Smith complied with Orange’s demand for cash and pleaded with him not to shoot.
Witnesses said Orange shot Smith anyway.
“He was telling the shooter ‘Take everything, just please don’t shoot me’,” testified Gregory Mendez.
“Yes, sir,” replied Mendez. “He said take all he had.”
“What happened after that?” asked the prosecutor.
“Gunshot,” said Mendez.
The single shot pierced Smith’s chest.
“He was bleeding on his chest. I picked him up. He was trying to say something,” said Mendez as he covered his face.
As Mendez prayed, Smith Died.
The prosecution ran into a bit of a stumbling block on Tuesday however when none of the witnesses said they could identify any of the ‘robbers’ or ‘shooter’. It was unclear if that was because the ‘robbers’ had their faces covered or if they felt scared because of the alleged threats made by Orange and his family.
When the jury broke for lunch, tension between Orange’s family and Smith’s family erupted in a courthouse hallway.
“She hit me,” said Chavante Roberts, Smith’s mother.
One of Orange’s cousins reportedly lunged at Roberts. Other family members and court clerks separated the two and the judge barred Orange’s family from coming to court in the future.
While their first witnesses may not have been able to identify Orange as the shooter, prosecutors hope things will go better on Wednesday when the put the other ‘robbers’ who were in the car that night on the stand.
One of them will be Terrance James.
“The motivation to shoot Gregory was based upon Janard Orange wanting street credibility,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office Det. Scott Champagne at the time of Orange’s arrest. “He looked up to
Terrance James. Terrance has a history that includes attempted murder and in Janard’s twisted view of reality or twisted world wanted to look up and emulate that.”
James, who admitted he was the driver that night, agreed to plead no contest and testify against Orange. Prosecutors say he will spend 25 years in prison if he testifies truthfully about the events of the night of the shooting.