BELTON — The murder trial of a Killeen man accused of killing a former soldier continued into its fourth day of witness testimony Thursday at the Bell County Justice Complex.
Cliffton Sivad Montague, 28, is on trial in the death of Laterrance Deshawn Newsome, who was shot eight times inside an apartment in the 3200 block of Hereford Lane in Killeen on Oct. 11, 2012.
Among the witnesses called by the prosecutors before they rested their case were two of Montague’s roommates, who were inside the apartment when the shooting occurred.
One of those men, Anthony Diaz, said he was upstairs taking a shower when the shooting happened. He testified he could hear Montague, Newsome and a third man, Kelcie Petterway, arguing downstairs.
“I heard (Petterway) say, ‘Don’t do that, he’s your brother’,” Diaz said
Seconds later, Diaz said he heard shots ring out.
Diaz said he then came down the stairs to find Newsome slumped on a couch, and saw Montague run past him out the door.
Diaz said Montague returned to the apartment the next day with an unknown man to collect some clothing. During that instance, Diaz said Montague asked if the other roommate had “snitched” him out.
That second roommate, also a former soldier, did not testify to what he saw that night.
Prosecutors said he had been medically retired from the Army for schizophrenia six weeks before the shooting, but was not taking medication at the time.
Prosecutors called additional witnesses, including Newsome’s mother, before resting their case.
Petterway, who was arrested after refusing to obey a subpoena to testify, took the stand as a witness for the defense.
Petterway said he was drinking and doing drugs the day of the shooting, but backed up Montague’s defense that there were numerous people coming in and out of the apartment that day.
He said at some point he passed out, and was awakened by the sound of a loud argument.
He told jurors he walked outside before the shots were fired.
“I heard arguing, and I walked out, because I have nothing to do with it,” said Petterway, who also claimed he did not see who shot Newsome.
Petterway’s testimony on the stand contradicted statements he made to Killeen police during a recorded interview taken the day after the shooting, where he appeared to indicate that he believed Montague did shoot Newsome.
In a heated back-and-forth with Bell County prosecutor Fred Burns, Petterway maintained that he was under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and Xanax at the time and did not remember giving the statement to police.
“You can tell I was under the influence,” he said.
Montague invoked his right not to testify.
The trial will resume today with closing arguments, and the jury is expected to go into deliberations.
Contact Chris McGuinness at email@example.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.