State rests in drive by shooting trial

The state has rested its case as the trial of Sean Newton continues--charged with first degree murder of Alexus Rankins in a drive by shooting March 27th of last year. Three other family members are on trial for related charges. The case will likely go to the jury Tuesday.

Jurors heard some of the most damaging testimony yet as Sean Newton is tried for first degree murder. Witnesses included Andre Broussard, who was in the car when Alexus Rankins was shot.  He told the jury he and others in the car were going to fight members of "the folk" gang, but never fought because, in his words, "Sean started shooting at them."

He and witness Joshua Lambert also testified how after the shooting they went to Lambert's house where Sean Newton burned the shirt he had been wearing.

Another witness in the car, Jarius Watson, testified how when the shooting happened the target was probably a man named D.J., who was supposed to be in the "Folks Nation"gang.

Lambert is cousin to Sean and Brandon Newton and the nephew of Nina and Rodney Newton. He was in the front seat when the shooting occurred and demonstrated how, though Sean Newton was the driver of the car, took the gun in his right hand and crossed it over his chest to fire out the window.

Lambert also testified about how, when they were all gathered at the Newton's apartment, Nina Newton said she would call police and make up a story about what happened. He also testified that she got rid of the gun.  His testimony also described Rodney Newton as not wanting to go along at first, but finally did.

In their cross examination, defense attorneys are trying to point out inconsistencies between the witnesses testimony and earlier statements to police -- and suggest that their testimony is to save their own skins from criminal prosecution and thus may not be credible.

The case resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning when the defense is expected to call several brief witnesses.