By Julie Montanaro
November 30, 6:45pm
A key witness took the stand Thursday afternoon in the double murder trial of Ryan Hubbard, a witness so vital that prosecutors say Hubbard tried to hire a hit man to kill him.
Marcus Gould testified only after a judge said he had no choice. Marcus Gould tried to be declared clergy and thus exempt from testifying against Ryan Hubbard, but the judge said no, so Gould took the stand and admitted Hubbard came to him for spiritual guidance in the months after the murders of Jamila Byers and Bryan Dyson.
Prosecutor Robin Lotane asked, "During your conversations with Mr. Hubbard about what occurred here in Tallahassee you made a statement to him, 'If you didn't have anything to do with it, you don't have anything to worry about.'”
And his response was?
"He did," answered Gould.
Prosecutors consider that conversation tantamount to a confession. Hubbard's attorneys call it grounds for a mistrial. The judge disagreed.
The defense didn't get many breaks in court. Victim Bryan Dyson's former roommate described cooking up crack, selling it out of their house and smoking up to $200 worth of it a day.
Albert Geter said he had met Ryan Hubbard before and knew he carried a gun.
"Did you at some point prior to the murders see the defendant with a gun?" asked prosecutor Kathy Ray.
Geter answered, "Yes ma'am."
"Can you give us an estimate of how many days prior to the murders you saw these guns?" asked Ray.
"Fifteen days tops," Geter replied.
The defense points out that none of the guns confiscated from Hubbard's apartment matched the bullets found at the murder scene. Testimony continues Friday.