Isaac Dawkins told a close friend about a month before he was killed that he felt like he was being backed into a corner and couldn’t report the threats because police wouldn’t believe him, according to court testimony.
Almost one month before Dawkins was fatally shot in the head as he drove home from Floyd College, his world was shaken by the sound of gunshots, a witness testified Friday in Floyd County Superior Court.
Von Agan, the mother of Dawkins’ close friend Joe Agan, told jurors that Dawkins showed up at her doorstep a few weeks before Christmas 1999.
The 20-year-old, who she said was almost like family, was shaken and visibly frightened.
Dawkins had come to her home many times to pass the time, she said, but that night there was panic in his voice and eyes that made her hang up from her phone conversation and tend to him.
Pacing around the dining room table, she said during testimony, Dawkins was shaking and had tears flowing from his eyes.
As she wiped his forehead with a damp cloth, she ex-plained, Dawkins described Joey Watkins allegedly chasing him through a neighborhood “spotlighting” him and firing gunshots.
Watkins is being tried on a murder charge. Police say he shot Dawkins on Jan. 11, 2000, as they drove north on U.S. 27 from Floyd College. Dawkins was shot in the head through the rear window of his pickup truck, police reported. Wat-kins’ friend and co-defendant Mark Free is also charged with murdering Dawkins and could stand trial in a few weeks.
Attorneys will present their closing arguments this morning at 10 a.m. with the jury beginning deliberation after lunch.
Dawkins told Agan that when he turned into his driveway he was face to face with a vehicle he said was Watkins’, which was backed against his house.
Agan told the jury that Dawkins said he quickly backed out of the driveway and was followed closely by Watkins. He said he took all the back roads but someone was shining lights through the woods to find him.
The woman explained to District Attorney Tami Colston how she moved Dawkins’ truck, after he arrived, from her yard to behind her house, covering the vehicle with a tarp.
“I know they’re shooting at me,” Dawkins allegedly told Agan.
The shooting was over a girl Dawkins had only dated twice, he told her.
“‘Everywhere I go he shows up,’” she remembered Dawkins saying.
Agan said she asked him several times why he hadn’t gone to the police. She said Dawkins told her no one would believe him because he wasn’t dating the girl anymore.
Hearsay and comments that a person is told are generally banned as evidence in court, but because Dawkins is dead and can’t verify the statements, a judge can allow it, said Judge Walter J. Matthews.
Additionally, the judge said, prosecutors had shown during earlier evidence that enough aggression had occurred to believe Agan’s statements were credible.
Before both sides rested their cases, defense counsel presented testimony from friends and family of Watkins who offered potential alibis for the defendant.
Throughout the trial Watkins has contended that he arrived home from fishing in Alabama around 7 p.m. and left his home around 7:15 p.m.
In the time it took him to travel from his home off the Kingston Road, defense attorneys allege, it was impossible for him to be near Floyd College at the time of Dawkins’ death.
Watkins’ defense team, Rex Abernathy and William O’Dell, introduced a cell phone expert from Georgia Tech in an effort to dispute a prosecution expert from Verizon Wireless who placed the defendant’s cell phone near the crime scene around the time of the shooting.
Phone records indicate that Watkins made a call around the time of the murder that was generated by a cell tower in Kingston.
The defense expert, Paul Steffas, said the hills of Floyd County make it impossible for Watkins to be in the area of U.S. 27.
Colston argued that if the cell phone were at an adequate elevation and on the border of the Kingston coverage area, Wat-kins’ call could have derived from the Kingston tower