By Frank Lewis
The case of a man charged in the murder of a former Portsmouth resident could go to the jury Wednesday. On Friday the prosecution in the trial of Anthony Stargell, Jr., 23, of Dayton, accused of killing Tommy Nickles of Dayton during a robbery, rested, and on Tuesday the defense made fast work of their case.
Defense attorneys called their client to the stand. Judge Gregory F. Singer asked Stargell if he understood the possible ramifications of taking the stand and he responded he did. Singer asked if his attorney had advised against taking the stand and again Stargell replied in the affirmative. Stargell told the jury Nickles was reaching for a gun when he shot him.
After Stargell left the stand, the defense also rested.
During the course of the prosecution’s case Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Brant, said Stargell not only shot Nickles, but killed his companion dog, Rusty, then set fire to Nickles’ business, Quality One Electric in Dayton on April 2, 2012. Nickles, who has many relatives locally, was subsequently buried along with his dog.
In addition to aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, arson, and grand theft auto, Stargell is also accused of taking surveillance equipment — 22 counts in all.
Singer said closing arguments would be heard Wednesday, and the jury would then be sequestered until they come up with a verdict.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.