Murder trial wraps up second day
by Jessica Loeding
Nov 20, 2013 | 1981 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Testimony continued Tuesday in the murder trial of Herbert Drews, accused of stabbing James David Ayers, 70, in February 2012.

Jurors heard from Georgia Bureau of Investigation specialists and witnesses in Bartow County Superior Court Judge Carey Nelson’s courtroom. In an emergency move Tuesday about 3 p.m., Nelson replaced a male juror with the alternate after the juror was dismissed because of an illness.

Testifying late Tuesday morning, GBI Medical Examiner Jacqueline Martin said Ayers died from “complications of multiple sharp-force injuries.” When asked by prosecutor Erle Newton to clarify the manner of death, Martin said, “Homicide.”

Ayers was stabbed nine times in the bedroom of his Joe Frank Harris Parkway residence about 10:30 p.m. Feb. 5, 2012. Drews faces multiple charges, including malice murder and felony murder, in connection with Ayers’ death.

Based on her findings, Martin said, Ayers suffered at least two strokes — one to the right frontal lobe and one to the left frontal lobe — because of clotting following the stabbing attack.

Defense attorney James Wyatt questioned Martin about the type of weapon used, which the doctor said she believed was a knife. Martin maintained that, although it was possible more than one sharp-force object was wielded, Ayers’ wounds most likely were caused by one weapon.

Troyce Warren took the stand in afternoon testimony. Warren resided with Ayers at the time of the incident and was wounded the night Ayers was stabbed.

According to his testimony, Warren was asleep when Drews kicked his bedroom door and then ripped the door open.

He said Drews entered the bedroom wielding a four- to five-inch blade between the fingers of his right hand, which was covered in blood.

Warren said Drews stated, “You [expletive], I found Lucky dead and it’s your fault” before threatening Warren. Drews then allegedly attacked Warren, slashing his chin and stabbing Warren in the shoulder and leg, Warren testified.

Warren fought back, moving from his bedroom located on the porch of the residence and into the living room of the home, he testified.

“I beat him as much as I could and as hard as I could,” Warren said.

Warren said he did not stop fighting Drews until police arrived.

Under cross examination, Warren testified that he was not aware of Ayers carrying a large amount of cash. He could not recall whether he pistol-whipped Drews with a pellet gun from the residence.

Wyatt said in his opening Monday that $1,500 in cash and a gun used in an attack on Drews that night were removed from the home.

Testimony will continue at 8:15 a.m. today in courtroom C at the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center.