SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – There was tension in the courtroom as the third suspect testified against two men facing life in prison in a triple murder trial Tuesday at the Chatham County Courthouse.
Diamond Butler is one of suspects named in the shooting death of Kiana Marshall, 21, Alexis Kitchens, 19, and Isaiah (Corey) Martin, 18, in a Carver Village house back on October 22, 2015. She took a plea deal to testify against James Hampton and Dwayne Abney.
Diamond Butler took the stand in front Hampton, the man who she claims shot and killed the three; the prosecution says he did it because he cared about her as more than a friend.
Butler testified that when victim, Kiana Marshall, told her and another woman to move out of her house, she called James Hampton to come pick them up.
She said Hampton was upset that Marshall was “mean” to her and asked her, in slang terms, if she wanted him to “shoot the place up.” Butler said she thought that implied the house, not the people in it.
“He asked me if I wanted him to wet that s*** up, meaning shoot the house up. And I had told him yeah that I didn’t care,” Butler testified, “I said yes and I didn’t care.”
She later said, “I didn’t tell him to shoot anybody.”
Butler said Hampton dropped the two girls off in Yamacraw and would not let her go back to the house with him and his friend, Dwayne Abney.
In Butler’s plea deal, she pled guilty to conspiracy and the judge will decide her sentence, up to 110 years.
Hampton’s defense lawyer argued there’s no proof that any of this was said between the two of them.
Police never recovered a gun, but detectives have testified that they found boxes for bullets that match those used to kill the victims inside of Hampton’s house.
The mother of Marshall and Martin, Regina Marshall, also took the stand Tuesday.
Marshall said her daughter was letting the two girls, including Diamond, rent a room in her house, but they were disrespectful—coming in at all hours of the night with guests.
She testified the girls were each supposed to pay $250 dollars for rent on October 21st. When they didn’t have the money, Marshall said she told her daughter to kick them out and call the cops.
“I sent Corey over to tell them just to get the stuff out of the house,” Marshall testified, She added that her daughter had called her and said, “’I’m gonna call the police and get them out my house now.’ That was the last time I talked to her,” Marshall said, voice shaking.
“Corey called me later on and said ‘Mom, I’m on my way home,’” Marshall told the jury, “So I called my friend and said, ‘Go and unlock the door for Corey,’ and I call him and he never answered the phone.”
Both Hampton and Abney face life in prison.