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Tajh Ross Trial: The 911 Calls
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - Tajh Ross, the man accused in the 2012 shooting death of 19-year-old Latasha Roundtree, of Cedar Rapids, was back in Linn County District Court on Wednesday to resume his murder trial.
On Wednesday, Neal Clark, another passenger in the vehicle the night of the shooting was called to the witness stand. Clark testified that it was difficult to find the house party that they were driving to. He said that he saw someone cross the street in front of the vehicle, then heard a shot, a pause, then multiple shots. He said there were about 10 to 20 seconds between seeing the man run across the street and seeing the vehicle window shatter. At that point, he realized that Roundtree had been shot.
Clark then testified that Haley McConnell, who testified Tuesday, began to panic and scream as they drove to Mercy Medical Center and dialed 911 along the way. He also testified that he did not know of any conflict between anyone before heading to the party and that the girls were not drinking or participating in any illicit activity.
Click on the above video to hear a portion of the 911 audio recording. (Caution: the audio may be considered disturbing to some.)
Later, Colby Gerber testified. He said that he had two guns stolen from his truck on the night of September 10. According to Gerber, there were specific markings on the guns, including green nail polish, and they were registered. The Cedar Rapids Police Department contacted him weeks after the shooting saying that they had found the guns and that they were part of the Roundtree homicide investigation.
Finally during the morning, Alexus Omar was called to the witness stand. She went to see her then-boyfriend, Freddie Hanson, at the house at 649 16th Ave SW the night of the shooting. Hanson was the one hosting the party.
Omar testified that there was talk about the house possibly being shot up that night and that Ross was at the party. She said that despite threats to the party, no one talked about contacting the police or moving the party. Omar continued saying that a green car drove by the house. At that point, several people ran from the party and chased the car into a nearby grocery store parking lot. After that, the party was called off.
At some point, several guns were pulled out of the trunk of a car. Ross had one of the guns in his waistband, according to Omar. She then said that a white car passed the house twice before stopping at a stop sign for five minutes. The car then drove by the house again, this time slowing down. At that point, she heard a gun shot and people began running. Omar said she couldn't see who was in the white car and that no one in the white car shot a gun.
After the shooting, Omar was in a car with the shooters. She said that they were talking about licking their fingers to avoid leaving behind gunpowder. She said that they were also attempting to develop a story in case they were contacted by police. Omar says she later found out through social media that Roundtree was shot.
The trial will resume at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday. You can follow live updates from CBS 2 News reporter Jason Hackett inside the courtroom via his Twitter page. Also look for a full report coming up on our newscasts at 5 and 6 PM.