Testimony underway in Newton family trial

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Little by little, witness by witness the state is trying to piece together the puzzle for the jury as to what happened March 27, 2010 that resulted in a little girl being killed after spending an evening at the mall.

The state is trying to sort out for the jury the facts that led up to the shooting of Alexus Rankins after she left Prien Lake Mall that night in March. Alexis died two days later.

So far the jury has seen a number of videos captured by surveillance cameras at the mall that show large groups of young people moving around in the area of the cinema and eventually off mall property where the shooting occurred. The videos also show from a distance the scene of the shooting where you can see a man crouched down next to the wounded teen.

According to testimony, police who work mall security had picked up on that trouble seemed to be brewing between rival gang members and it seems that Alexus Rankins was caught in the crossfire. She was apparently shot in a drive by shooting that may actually have targeted someone else though that's not yet clear.

On trial for first degree murder is Sean Newton the alleged trigger man.

Others on trial for lesser offenses include Sean's brother Brandon charged with accessory after the fact to First Degree Murder, obstruction of justice and inciting a riot.

Sean's parents Nina and Rodney Newton are also charged for allegedly trying to help the boys avoid capture and Nina is charged with obstruction of justice.

Witnesses included two young teen girls who were with Alexus at Creole and Dixie Drive when she was shot.

Earlier in opening statements attorneys for defendants said the jury would hear confusing and inconsistent testimony that will not prove guilt of any defendant beyond a reasonable doubt.

The testimony will resume tomorrow morning as the state continues putting on its case.

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