BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Testimony began Wednesday in the trial for one of four defendants charged with the death of a Hoover Iraq War Veteran.
19-year-old Ahmad Johnson is charged with murder in the January 2016 death of Mike Gilotti.
Johnson was not only charged with murder in this case but also seven counts of breaking and entering a vehicle that began about two weeks before Gilotti's death.
Lead prosecutor Lane Tolbert says that's important because that string of vehicle cases that emboldened Johnson and the other defendants ultimately led to Mike Gilotti's death.
Tolbert told jurors when Gilotti was killed on January 5, 2016, there was not a plan to kill him. But he says there didn't have to be. Tolbert says intent was there and that even if Johnson didn't pull the trigger, he still aided and abetted in the crime.
Defense attorney Bret Gray argued otherwise saying yes, his client was there, but that does not make him guilty of any crime.
He also told jurors not to be confused by the "smoke screens" of the previous crimes the state is pointing to.
Mike Gilotti's wife, Heather, was in the courtroom as well as several members of Johnson's family.
The trial could last a week and a half and it was stated there could be upwards of 40 witnesses testifying.