Testimony continues in murder trial

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Car salesman Robert Lovelace had assisted the man accused of killing him with straightening out his credit and buying a new vehicle, a detective testified Thursday.

That connection eventually led the men to a fateful August 2008 meeting in the parking lot of a Stone Mountain Holiday Inn Express, where Lovelace, 50, was fatally shot.

Lovelace had recently cashed a 401(k) check for more than $20,000, and the purpose of his meeting Christopher Avery Brown -- aka "Show" and "Casey" -- was to buy cocaine, testified Gwinnett police Det. D.A. Cruz.

Cruz testified he interviewed an associate of Brown's hours after the killing, who claimed Brown said, in reference to the victim, "Dude didn't cooperate" and "We had to take him out."

The exact amount of cocaine in the deal and its supplier have not been verified, Cruz said.

Earlier testimony revealed Lovelace came armed to the meeting with a .38 Special in a fanny pack he wore.

Brown, 35, donning a white suit and white shoes Thursday, faces counts of murder, felony murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault. U.S. Marshals arrested him in Brooklyn, New York last year.

A Lawrenceville woman was arrested in connection with the killing in December 2008.

Police charged Charlotte Lynne McDaniel with lying to police, alleging she provided her white Jaguar to Brown in order to traffic the cocaine.

The two suspects had a romantic relationship and met the day of the killing at a Snellville Mexican restaurant, Cruz said.

Cruz said Brown returned the car to McDaniel at the restaurant moments after the shooting, and police stopped her at gunpoint as she drove away. Officers looked in the car and let her go when they spotted no men inside, Cruz said.

Witnesses reported seeing two men in the Jaguar when Lovelace was shot, but Cruz said two arrests have been made in connection with Lovelace's slaying.

Family and friends said Lovelace, of Smyrna, worked at a Griffin dealership the last 12 years. He was unmarried but has a daughter attending Vanderbilt University.

Closing arguments are expected this morning.

After both sides rested Thursday evening, Superior Court Judge Ronnie Batchelor specifically instructed jurors not to Twitter about the case, as has happened recently in Pennsylvania, he said.