The trial involving the murder of T.I.’s assistant and close friend, Philant Johnson, which began Monday in Cincinnati, is expected to produce testimony today from the Georgia rapper himself.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, jury members were told that primary suspect Hosea Thomas, 35, is solely responsible for the death of Johnson resulting from a shoot-out with T.I.’s entourage in May 2006.
“It’s all going to come down to witness testimony,” prosecutor Heather Gosselin told jurors.
Prosecutors say Thomas and his brother, Padron Thomas, 40, started shooting at the van in which T.I. and his entourage were riding on Interstate 75. When the gun battle ended Johnson was dead and four others in the vehicle were hurt. T.I. was not hit.
On Tuesday, the jury visited the crime scene and then opening arguments were given. Wednesday and Thursday, testimony came from eyewitnesses, members of T.I.’s entourage, a person in Hosea Thomas’s van on the night in question and police officers.
The Inquirer is also reporting that Padron Thomas faces the same charges as Hosea but a date for his trial has not yet been set.
The shooting, which is referenced in several songs on T.I.’s new Paper Trail album, remained unsolved for a year, until three people charged with federal gun crimes, among them Padron Thomas, contacted authorities and said they had information on Johnson’s murder.