Friends and Witnesses Testify in Tallahassee Murder Trial

Mikel Cotton is facing murder and robbery charges in the death of Antonio Steele, who was killed outside the Top Flite Club while waiting for his friends to meet him at the car.

Rob Hall, the murder victim's friend, says, "I get down on my knees and I'm asking him, like, what's wrong, who did this to you?"

Rob Hall lost his best friend that March night, running to find Antonio Steele shot in the neck and gasping for breath on the ground behind his car.

Rob Hall says, "I take my hand and put it behind his head and kinda lean it up some and there's like blood all over, so I didn't see any gun wounds or anything like that, so I set his head down softly and start feeling 'cause he had a black vest on. I started feeling, trying to see what happened."

Mikel Cotton stands accused of Steele's murder. A cell phone found at the scene led to his mother's door and ultimately to his arrest, but testimony on this first day made it clear he wasn't alone that night on the corner of Okaloosa and Main.

Octavian Martin, also the murder victim's friend, says, "I saw a figure jump; I thought I saw two and it split, and I saw a guy take off to the left and in my periphery I thought I saw someone take off to the right."

Umiko Motley, a witness, adds, "At the time I saw the two men coming from Main Street and running west on Okaloosa, I put the car in reverse and went back toward Wahnish Way."

As revealed in court but never publicly disclosed until now, an accomplice has been arrested too. Twenty-three-year-old Charles Mitchell, known as "Twan," was picked up recently in Orlando.

There’s no word yet whether he'll take the stand to testify for or against Mikel Cotton.

A juror was excused Tuesday morning for making what attorneys called "inappropriate" comments. The remaining six jurors will be back in the jury box when that case continues Wednesday.


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