GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A neighborhood dice game led to a robbery plot that ended in murder, according to testimony Wednesday in the capital murder trial of Jalen Williams.
Williams is accused of killing Lamont Hayes in 2014 at Hayes' home on Carson Dr. in Gulfport. Rashad Johnson, who pleaded guilty to Hayes' murder last week, was the first prosecution witness.
Set to be sentenced in May, Johnson told the jury that he and Williams had been playing dice regularly with Hayes and others. Hayes was winning steadily.
A couple weeks before the murder, Johnson and Williams began planning to rob Hayes of his winnings.
On the day of the murder, Johnson said he and Williams went to the Hayes home, where they confronted Hayes' children and wife, who was in the shower. When Williams confronted Hayes, there was a struggle, and the gun Williams had fired twice.
Williams' defense attorney tried to discredit Johnson's testimony by pointing out inconsistencies in what he told police after he was arrested and what he said in court.
After a mid-morning break, Lamont Hayes' widow took the stand for the prosecution in the murder trial of Jalen Williams.
Jennifer Hayes graphically described the events the night her husband of just one year was fatally shot. After the suspects entered the house, she says one of the men came into the bathroom where she was showering and pointed a gun to her face.
Hayes told the courtroom about the beating her husband received and described hearing the gun shots as she hid in her daughter's bedroom.
At the time, her 15-year-old stepson, 9-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son were in the house.
"They beat his face so badly," Hayes said. "There was blood all over. I didn't even know where he was shot."
She also testified that she feared for her own life.
"I thought I was going to die," Hayes said. "I was preparing to die."
She openly wept as the 911 call she made on July 22, 2014 was played. But possibly the strongest testimony against Williams was what she saw later that night.
Hayes left to get help from neighbors after she thought he suspects were out of the house. Through the window, she says she saw Williams standing in their bedroom.
"He was fixing his bandana in the mirror."