Prosecutor tells jury Brandon Senior executed Tamir Harris in August 2017

Crime

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — After two days of jury selection, the trial of a Columbus man accused in an August 2017 murder began in Muscogee County Superior Court.

Brandon Senior is accused of shooting 33-year-old Tamir Harris to death in August 2017. The shooting happened in the 3600 block of Fourth Avenue as was one of several murders during that time in the North Highland area.

Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Schwartz told the jury in her opening statement this was a “broad-daylight execution.”

“No argument. No discussion,” Schwartz told the jury. “He shot the man in the back of the head. It’s the oldest taboo in our society. You don’t shoot a man in the back.”

Police say Harris was shot while standing next to his 2-year-old son. Two other of Harris’s young children were present at the time of the shooting.

Schwartz said Harris was talking to the mother of some of his children when Senior snuck up behind him and fired. The point-blank shot went into the back of Harris’ head and came out the front.

The bullet was never found, though the gun was, Schwartz told the jury.

Senior, known in that area as “Chip,” was quickly identified as the shooter, Schwartz said. He was arrested shortly after the shooting at an apartment complex around the block. Schwartz told the jury that Senior was at his girlfriend’s apartment. The .40-caliber handgun believed to be used in the shooting was found in a laundry basket in the apartment. Also, Senior’s black tennis shoes were discovered. Testing will show those shoes had Harris’ blood on them, Schwartz said.

Schwartz told the jury that evidence will show the dead man was a known drug dealer.

“He did the street hustle and made money in ways that were not legal,” the prosecutor told the jury.

Defense attorney Anthony Johnson told the jury that the brutal reality is there is a crime element in Columbus.

“Just 2.5 miles from here is a different world,” Johnson said. “It is a world of drugs… It is a world of liars and thieves, and Brandon Senior was trying to stay out of the way.”

The jury selection took place Tuesday and Wednesday at the Columbus Civic Center because of social distancing. The trial is being held at the Government Center.

Senior is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a gun during commission of a felony.

The case is being heard by Judge Maureen Gottfried.

Senior is also accused of shooting to death 25-year-old Nathan Johnson on Aug. 20, 2017. The 35-year-old Senior is still awaiting trial on that murder charge.

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