The real test of Terrell McCoy's defense attorney skills begins today, when he will try to convince the Charleston County jury in his murder trial that he's not a killer.
Following three days of testimony, state prosecutors will rest their case this morning after arguing that McCoy abruptly shot Antwan Bryant with a hail of bullets inside a North Charleston home.
Once the state sits down, McCoy, known on the street as "Sleezie Boy," will have the stage to himself, a layman acting as his own defense team.
He plans to call as many as 11 witnesses, but he told Circuit Judge Roger Young late Wednesday he hadn't yet decided if he'll take the witness stand to testify on his own behalf.
He's not required to. But if he does, it could set up the odd predicament of being both a defendant and defense lawyer addressing the jurors at exactly the same time.
Wednesday's testimony at the county Judicial Center lacked the drama of that from earlier witnesses who said they were present on March 25, 2006, when McCoy, now 29, allegedly shot Bryant, 23, as retaliation for the criticism directed at him after he fired a gun wildly into the air.
Bryant was hit as many as four times with shots from a 9 mm weapon and died at the scene. A murder weapon was never recovered.
Most of Wednesday's witnesses were evidence handlers or crime scene responders who reported to the Delta Street home after the shooting. During his cross examinations, McCoy tried to focus on what he considered sloppy police work.
One witness, North Charleston
Police forensics investigator Al Hallman, said McCoy's fingerprints and those belonging to another man were found on a screen door rarely used at the home. Authorities contend it was where he fled the home after the shooting.
McCoy asked Hallman if any gunshot residue was taken from the spot, something Hallman said isn't done since gun residue normally is recovered only from someone's hands.
In another exchange, McCoy questioned why Hallman didn't see fingerprints in an evidence photograph of a blood smear near a door. Hallman said there weren't any prints that could be detected, an observation that McCoy took issue with. "I'm not a crime scene investigator. I'm just a self-representer, and I can see the fingerprints," McCoy said.
Court is expected to resume around 9:30 a.m. McCoy faces a minimum of 30 years if convicted.