LIMA — The prosecution continued presenting their case against Jayleontre Harris Wednesday at Allen County Common Pleas Court, calling an eyewitness to the 2016 murder of Eric Staup.
Harris is charged with aggravated murder with a gun, an unclassified felony, as well a charge of aggravated robbery for allegedly shooting and killing Eric Staup during a marijuana deal gone wrong on May 19, 2016. Harris allegedly fled the scene after the shooting and eluded police for 25 days before being apprehended.
Carlos “Chase” Maldonado testified that when they arrived at Staup’s 637 N. Metcalf St. home, he intended to run in and make the deal himself, but Harris insisted on going in to make sure the deal was level. Staup responded to a text from Maldonado stating he wanted to meet Harris.
After entering the home, Maldonado said he, Staup and Staup’s son, Damon, passed a joint around while preparing a baggie of 2.5 grams of marijuana for Harris. Harris refused the offered joint.
Staup then asked Harris for $25 to pay for the marijuana, and Harris reached into his pocket and pulled out a gun instead of money, Maldonado testified. Staup attempted to seize the weapon and there was a brief struggle, though Maldonado said he couldn’t recall if Staup ever made contact with Harris before he allegedly began firing.
He said Harris fled out the door after shooting Staup. Afterward, Maldonado said he also ran, got into the car they arrived in and left before police arrived.
After allegedly shooting Staup, Harris had fled to Columbus where he was arrested during a traffic stop after failing to signal while turning, said Columbus Police Patrolman James Wells. After taking Harris into custody, Wells said he was having difficulty finding information on him in law enforcement databases. Wells said the defendant told him to just Google search his name, which the officer did and discovered he was wanted in Lima for murder charges.
“I’m just ready to get it over with,” Harris was heard saying on the June 12, 2016 dash-cam recording when he was taken into custody. “I’m ready to go back to my city.”
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.