ANDERSON — Three people, who lived near a home where a man was shot to death in 2017, testified in court Monday about what they saw and heard at the time of the shooting. The victim’s girlfriend also testified.
James Henry Stewart Jr., 32, of Anderson is accused of shooting Montez D. McCloud around 6:30 p.m. on May 9, 2017. According to police, McCloud, 24, died after being shot several times with a .22-caliber rifle.
Daniel Lennen said he was sitting on a couch in his living room when he heard arguing outside. Lennen said his daughter and his girlfriend’s son, Dillon Watson, were walking out the front door when he realized something was wrong.
Lennen described his home being “catty-corner” from Stewart who he said went by the name Dj.
During his testimony, Lennen said he watched Stewart point a rifle at McCloud’s chest and shoot him nine or 10 times. He told jurors Stewart leaned over McCloud after he shot him and told the dying man he hoped he had killed him. The defense attorney objected to the statement saying Lennen did not tell authorities he heard the statement after the event or when he was questioned during his deposition.
Other details Lennen talked about during the trial was that Stewart told him McCloud came into his home and “hit my girl.”
Jurors leaned in as Lennen identified where he was standing during the shooting and as he talked about the events surrounding McCloud’s death.
Lennen said he did not talk about what was said during his deposition or to investigators because he was nervous at the time.
“I’ve never been through anything like this in my life,” Lennen said.
He told jurors he had a problem with Stewart when Stewart first moved into the neighborhood because the other man had a pitbull that had attacked his, but since that incident Stewart kept the dog on a chain. Lennen said Stewart actually stuck up for him when someone broke into Lennen’s home.
Watson, 19, testified after Lennen saying he overheard Stewart tell McCloud that “if you are still here when I get back I have something for you.”
Watson was unable to identify Stewart sitting at the defense table and told authorities he could not identify him after the shooting.
Lisa Bobo also lived in the neighborhood at the time of the shooting. She told jurors she was on her porch waiting for Lennen’s daughter to come over to her house when the incident took place. She repeated what Watson testified to overhearing saying Stewart told McCloud “if you are here when I come back I have something for you.”
Bobo said she only remembered some of the details from that day.
“I was a nervous wreck then and I’m a nervous wreck now,” she said.
Bobo went on to say she heard several shots fired that night, but could not remember how many. When she volunteered that “one is too many,” her comment was stricken from the court record as being unsolicited.
Cheyanne Gosler was dating McCloud before his death. She became emotional on the witness stand Monday and cried when she saw photos of McCloud.
Gosler was at Stewart’s home when the shooting occurred and told jurors she does not know why Stewart shot McCloud.
Surveillance video of the incident showed Gosler running into Stewart’s home prior to the shooting and then McCloud jumping into her vehicle and pulling away before the moped he rode to the home was knocked over.
McCloud could then be seen on the video jumping out of the moving car and coming back to the residence where there was some kind of altercation and Stewart comes out of the residence and shoots McCloud.
The trial reconvenes in Circuit Court 6 before Judge Mark Dudley at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.