Witnesses testified they never saw one of the Ensley quintuple h - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Witnesses testified they never saw one of the Ensley quintuple homicide suspects

Opening statements in the trial began on Tuesday morning. Source: WBRC video Opening statements in the trial began on Tuesday morning. Source: WBRC video
Artavius Underwood in court on Tuesday. Source: WBRC video Artavius Underwood in court on Tuesday. Source: WBRC video
Artavius Underwood booking photo from 2012. Source: Birmingham PD Artavius Underwood booking photo from 2012. Source: Birmingham PD
(L-R) Rashad Stoves, Artavius Underwood and Reginald Mims are charged with capital murder in the killings. Mims and Stoves will go to trial later this year. Source: BPD (L-R) Rashad Stoves, Artavius Underwood and Reginald Mims are charged with capital murder in the killings. Mims and Stoves will go to trial later this year. Source: BPD
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Opening statements began Tuesday in the capital murder trial of one of the suspects accused of killing five men execution-style in Ensley in 2012.

Artavius Underwood, 19, is charged with capital murder in the deaths of the five men. Two other suspects, Reginald Mims and Rashad Stoves, are also charged with capital murder and will go on trial later this year.

Family members of the five victims filled the courtroom and fought back tears during the opening statement, which started around 9:45 a.m.

Prosecutors spoke about this being a case of two crimes, three defendants, four guns, and five slain bodies.

The prosecutor described how the three suspects robbed one man before going to a home in Ensley and killing five men execution-style.

The defense attorney reminded the jury to listen to the facts and not the emotions. He spoke about everyone grieving over this horrible loss.

A total of 14 witnesses took the stand, including the family members of the victims. One woman was related to all five victims.

The first witness was 32-year-old Rayford Williams. He testified that on January 29, 2012, the night of the killing, he gave a ride to the three suspects: Artavius Underwood, Reginald Mims, and Rashad Stoves.

Williams testified that as he was dropping them off in an alley near the 2700 block of Avenue S in Ensley, Stoves pulled a gun on him and took his drugs, cash, phone, and a 9 mm Smith and Wesson gun.

According to the prosecution, this all happened before another robbery and five killings inside a home on Avenue S.

The second witness is a detective with the Birmingham police department. He took the stand before court took a break around noon.

He and another officer described what they found when they arrived at the home on Avenue S.

Photographs of the victims were also shown in court. One victim was found in the garage of the home while the four others were found in another room. Police say the four victims were stripped of their clothing and lay on the floor.

Two other men who were at the house the morning on January 29, 2012 also testified.

Anterrius Render testified that he had gone to a club early on the morning of January 29, 2012 with another man, Demetrius Sanford. When Render, Sanford and another man, Orlando Scott, returned to Render's home around 3 a.m., Render said he went to the door and saw things in disarray.

Render said the next thing he knew, someone put a gun to his face and so he ran. On the way out, Render yelled for Scott and Sanford to get out of the car.

Scott testified that Mims yanked him out of the car, put a gun to his head and robbed him. Scott said Stoves grabbed Sanford out from the other side and tried to rob him.

Scott remembered hearing two gun shots a short while later and then the men drove off. But under cross examination both Scott and Render said they never saw Artavius Underwood at the house that night.

Testimony continues on Wednesday.

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