Jurors heard testimony last week about a 2015 shooting in a Broad Street parking lot that killed a 17-year-old Gadsden City High School student.
Anthony Hale Jr. was shot in the head in a parking lot at the corner of Seventh and Broad streets. Police said then, and prosecutors say now, that Hale was an innocent bystander, shot after a private birthday party at a Gadsden nightclub.
There was fighting inside the club during the party, and owners shut the party down, sending the guests into the streets. Words were exchanged outside the club as well, and shots were fired into the crowd of celebrants.
Hale was shot in the head. Three other people sustained less serious injuries - gunshots to the buttocks, the leg and a graze wound. Hale was taken to UAB Hospital for treatment, and succumbed to his injuries there.
In the days after the shooting, five people were arrested - three adults and two juveniles. Only two of those arrested would be indicted for Hale's murder; only one would make it to trial.
Robert Thornton, 25, of Anniston, faces charges of intentional murder and reckless murder in Hale's death.
The other man indicted, Montarious Hill, 20, of Anniston, was fatally shot, Huntsville police said, when he and four other men were involved in an attempted robbery in Huntsville in December 2016. Police said at that time that five men, all from Anniston, went to a Huntsville home with the intent to steal drugs.
Two men forced their way inside and were shot. Hill died from multiple gunshots; the other man was shot in the leg.
Thornton, who was free on bond at the time, was one of the men arrested in connection with that robbery attempt. Prosecutors sought revocation of his bond, and he was returned to jail.
Hale had been a standout athlete at Adairsville High School in Georgia before transferring to Gadsden City High School.
Testimony in the trial before Judge Cody Robinson concluded Thursday afternoon. The state rested its case Friday morning, and the defense called no witnesses.
Contact Gadsden Times reporter Donna Thornton at 256-393-3284 or email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Suspect on trial in the 2015 murder of Anthony Hale Jr