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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Liberty City man who witnessed a murder and was supposed to testify at the suspected killer’s upcoming trial was shot to death over the weekend.
Ezell Finklea Jr., 61, was returning from buying dinner Saturday night when a gunman walked up to his car in the area of NW 30th Avenue and NW 62nd Street and fired more than a dozen shots, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
Finklea and his friend, 70-year-old Ira Williams, were killed.
Miami-Dade police are trying to determine if the ambush was connected to the upcoming murder trial of 33-year old Julio Morris in which Finklea was to testify. Jury selection for the trial was underway.
On April 18, 2012, Finklea reportedly witnessed Morris, who was his neighbor, kill 29-year-old Jazzmon Parker.
Finklea told the police that he was changing the locks on a home in the 2900 block of NW 63rd Street when he saw Morris and another man, Clifton Dickson, shoot at Parker, according to the Miami Herald. Finklea said he watched as Morris took a gun from Dickson and fatally shoot Parker who lay in the middle of the street.
Investigators believe the shooting was drug-related.
Over the course of the last seven years, Finklea has cooperated with law enforcement.
He originally identified Morris as the killer and then refused to intimidated, even after Morris allegedly broke into his home and attacked him, according to the Miami Herald. He also testified at numerous hearings and depositions.
On Monday, a judge agreed to postpone the trial.
Morris’ defense attorney declined to comment on Finklea’s murder.
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