Jabarius Pittman entered a straight-up plea Monday to manslaughter with a firearm after ballistics tests in a murder trial scheduled for this week identified him as the actual killer.
Pittman, 17, of 1406 Joe Louis Lane, Apt. G, Calvin Grubbs and Raphael Morris on Sept. 17 attempted to rob Marc Logan and Anotonio Edwards at gunpoint. But the robbery attempt resulted in massive gunfire as Grubbs opened up with an 38-caliber revolver, spraying bullets throughout the residential neighborhood.
Pittman attempted to run from the area and saw Edwards make a move toward him. Pittman fired a warning shot from his 380 semi-automatic handgun in Edward's direction as he was running. The bullet missed Edwards but hit Logan, 41, in the head and killed him.
Grubbs is scheduled for trial this week on charges of first-degree murder, robbery with a firearm and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. It was originally thought that Logan was killed by a bullet from Grubbs' assault rifle, but ballistics tests performed recently in preparation for trial found that Logan was killed by Pittman's handgun.
Before the ballistics tests were done, Pittman entered a plea in November to robbery and agreed to testify truthfully if called to either of his co-defendant's trials. The plea put him in prison for seven years. But once the test results were discovered, Pittman was facing a new charge of manslaughter with a firearm. He decided Monday to plead to the new charge, and an attempted robbery with a firearm, and agreed again to testify in Grubbs' trial this week.
Grubbs' charges were revised to reflect the new evidence. Instead of facing a charge of premeditated first-degree murder, Grubbs is charged with felony first-degree murder -- meaning he was engaged in a robbery when someone involved was killed. The state doesn't have to prove that Grubbs intended to kill Logan, only that Logan died while Grubbs was attempting to rob him. The penalty is the same, life in prison, if Grubbs is convicted of the charge.
Pittman faces up to 35 years in prison and his penalty will be left to Circuit Judge Elijah Smiley to decide on April 15. Testimony in Grubbs' trial is expected to begin Tuesday morning and go into Wednesday.