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Expert: Shots fired from gun tied to Jackson murder defendant

LAWRENCEVILLE — The prosecution asserted early on that Jason Dozier fired multiple non-fatal shots during the home invasion that killed 15-year-old Nick Jackson. A firearms expert verified those claims Friday.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation firearms scientist David Voss testified Friday that spent bullets recovered from the basement of Jackson’s Norcross home were indeed fired from the Kel-Tec .380 handgun that has been tied to Dozier, the first of seven suspects to be tried for murder in the teen’s death. At least four shell casings were proven to have come from the gun, later recovered in the van that six of the suspects were pulled over in.

The projectiles and weapon were tied to each other by a series of marks and striations. Like fingerprints on people, Voss said, each gun’s markings are unique.

“We’ve never found two that have the same markings,” Voss said.

Authorities believe the bullet that killed Jackson was fired by co-defendant Anthony Lumpkin. Voss testified that 10 casings or bullets recovered from the scene came from the Jimenez 9mm handgun allegedly tied to Lumpkin.

The expert’s testimony regarding the gun connected to Dozier matches previous testimony and evidence presented.

Earlier Friday, the prosecution played a recording of a phone call Dozier made to his father from the Gwinnett County jail. In it, the father urges his son to tell police he didn’t shoot anyone.

“I didn’t kill that boy,” Dozier said, “but I did some shooting.

Fellow defendant Timothy Johnson — who pleaded guilty and had his murder charge dropped in exchange for testimony — said earlier in the week that Dozier had previously asked him to hold the Kel-Tec .380 in question. Johnson also said that, following the Feb. 2, 2012, fatal robbery, Dozier admitted to firing shots.

“(Dozier) said, ‘Man, (Lumpkin) shot and I had to shoot with him,’” Johnson said Wednesday.

Though Lumpkin is believed to have fired the fatal shots, every suspect in the case was charged with murder. Under Georgia’s parties to a crime law, a person that aids, abets or encourages a crime, in this case murder, is just as liable for that crime as the person who actually committed it.

More questions

Meanwhile, defense attorney Andrew Margolis continued to hammer the point that investigators — from Norcross police, the GBI and the district attorney’s office — had to make repeated trips to the Jackson home to collect missed evidence like shell casings and bullets.

District attorney’s office investigator Ron Blackburn testified Friday that he had returned to Autry Street on August 27 of this year to retrieve evidence that “the prosecutor believed was there.” He pulled bullets from the mattress of young Nick Jackson and from a desk in the hallway near his bedroom.

When questioned, Blackburn said that it’s not unheard of to revisit scenes, but “it’s nice if you can get it all the first time.” Margolis pushed on.

“I take it it’s even less normal to have to go back a third and fourth time for the same purpose, right?” Margolis asked.

“You’re correct,” Blackburn said.

Voss, the firearms expert, said that receiving evidence in multiple waves was “unusual.”

“It could be multiple packages but it usually comes in simultaneously,” he said.

Coming to a close

Dozier’s trial, which began in earnest with Wednesday’s opening statements, is nearing its end. The prosecution is expected to finish its case Monday with one more witness.

Closing statements from both sides are likely to follow later in the day.

“I believe I can safely say that the case will go to the jury Monday,” Judge Tom Davis said Friday.