LIMA — A key witness in the murder trial earlier this year of Lima resident Cory Jackson has been indicted by an Allen County grand jury for allegedly taking part in a drive-by shooting police say was directly related to the shooting death of Amari Gooding, the crime for which Jackson was convicted.
Jackson was found guilty of murder in February for causing the death of Gooding in a parking lot outside the Main Street Irish Pub in downtown Lima on Oct. 8, 2016. He was also convicted on a charge of aggravated robbery with a firearm.
The state built its case primarily around the testimony of Trey Ackles, who testified that Jackson robbed him at gunpoint in the parking lot of the bar on the night in question. When Gooding came to his aid, Ackles testified at trial, Jackson pointed a gun at Gooding’s chest and pulled the trigger.
Police say that less than a month after Jackson’s conviction, Ackles and an accomplice — Darius Relford — carried out a drive-by shooting at the residence of another participant in Jackson’s trial.
According to court documents, Ackles and Relford on March 18 were in a moving vehicle and fired gunshots into the home of Berhonda Fuller at 1140 S. Union St., Lima. Fuller’s nephew, Marvin Bridges, testified on behalf of Jackson at trial.
Several shots struck the home and two bullets entered the residence through a window. Police heard the shots and initiated a traffic stop. Relford, the driver, reportedly admitted to police that a 9 mm weapon found in the car was his. Ackles was a front seat passenger.
Text messages retrieved from the phone of a back seat passenger, Blake Patterson, revealed that Relford did participate in firing gunshots into the Union Street residence.
Ackles, 22, of Lima, is charged with discharging a weapon over a public roadway, improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation, felonious assault with a five-year firearm specification, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence.
Relford, 22, of Lima, is charged with the discharge of a firearm on or near a prohibited premise, improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, felonious assault with a firearm specification and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.
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