Two men accused in a 2019 murder in Bloomington will be tried together in February, a judge ruled on Thursday.
Amari McNabb, 21, and Exodus Hebert, 20, are two of three suspects charged in the April 2019 shooting death of 25-year-old Juan Nash. The victim was killed at an outdoor party in the 1200 block of Orchard Road on April 2, 2019.
Co-defendant Scotty Allen was sentenced in August to 50 years in prison for his role in the slaying.
Judge Casey Costigan denied a motion by McNabb's lawyers to separate the co-defendants' trials.
Defense lawyer Edward Johnson argued that conflicts exist in the defense each man may present to a jury.
Prosecutor Aaron Fredrick noted the severance issue had been addressed at a previous hearing where the judge concluded one trial was appropriate. Since that ruling, the defense has failed to raise an example of an antagonistic defense, said Fredrick.
Costigan did grant a request from McNabb's lawyer to delay a Dec. 7 trial date to Feb. 22. The defense contends it recently received a large amount of material from the state related to Snapchat exchanges involving McNabb.
Prosecutor Ashley Scarborough argued the material previously was provided to the defense and sent again, this time with still images from the conversations.
Johnson said the Snapchat items may play an important role in the state's effort to introduce evidence of weapons and drug use.
According to testimony at Allen’s trial, the incident was linked to a dispute between hybrid gangs. In a video shown to jurors, Allen was seen pulling a black ski mask over his face and raising a handgun.
In his testimony at Allen’s trial in June, Nash’s brother, Kajuan Hobson, denied making statements in which he linked Nash’s death to the death of Steven Alexander, who was the victim in a previous Orchard Road shooting.
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