Jury finds Tuscaloosa man guilty in 2017 Huntsville murder trial
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A man charged with murder in 2017 received a guilty verdict on Thursday morning.
Ward was arrested in 2017 in connection to a murder in north Huntsville. Police say that Ward was arguing with Ezekiel Briggs which led to Ward shooting Briggs.
Mondrel Ward received the verdict on May 5 after his trials faced multiple delays in the process including a long COVID-19 pause.
Assistant District Attorney Melvin Lockett prosecuted Ward. He says Briggs’ family is glad to finally reach a verdict after five years.
“After speaking with the family after the verdict they are ecstatic. It’s been a long time coming,” said Lockett. “This case was delayed because of COVID and other issues so they are happy to have justice for Ezekiel Briggs, their son and their brother.”
Earlier in the week, Ward’s lawyer, Ron Smith, filed a motion to dismiss the case for the lack of a speedy trial, but the motion did not pass and the trial went on. In the trial, the court heard from several witnesses, including the sister of the victim, the girlfriend of the victim and an investigator.
Smith also brought in an expert on suspect lineups. They say the lineup in this case was faulty. “He found the lineup was biased and that was due to who has chosen to be in the six-pack lineup,” said Smith.
Lockett disagrees. “The witnesses that had picked him out of the lineup saw him commit the crime. There was testimony they had seen him before,” said Lockett. “There was one witness who said he knew him for years and was able to pick him out”
The court was also shown videos and pictures depicting the crime scene including videos of a fight and pictures of Briggs.
Sentencing is scheduled to take place in mid-June. Ward plans to appeal the guilty verdict.
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