Andrews murder trial delayed by pre-trial motions

Public defender Ron Hazzard tried to get Circuit Judge Ben Culbertson to suppress dying declarations from shooting victim Antonio Tisdale.

Hazzard is representing Dominic Leggette, who has been charged with murder in Tisdale's death and assault and battery with intent to kill in connection with an injury to Al Ingram in the same incident in August 2008.

Hazzard argued that the declarations Tisdale made to witnesses about being shot did not indicate Tisdale thought he had been dying, and that because it was not believed to be a pending death statement it should not be admitted.

Culbertson ruled the statements were admissible and could be argued before a jury.

The trial was expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. but was delayed by several pre-trial motions over the statements Tisdale made to several witnesses the night of the shooting that Dominic Leggette had shot him.

The shooting happened about 10:40 p.m. Aug. 13, 2008, near the corner of Farr and Main streets in Andrews. Tisdale was pronounced dead about an hour later at Georgetown Memorial Hospital, said Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson.

Tisdale died of a gunshot to the chest, according to autopsy results. It is believed that the shooting was part of an ongoing dispute and that Leggette is affiliated with a gang in Andrews, according to Andrews Police Department.

Witnesses in the case have been sequestered during the trial. They will not be present during testimony and witness statements heard before the jury.

Hazzard made the motion because he said there were differing statements among the witnesses.