Closing Arguments Complete In Elyria Murder Case

After a week of testimony, both the state and defense teams rested their cases July 6 in the trial of Jordan Williams, 26, who allegedly was involved in the Jan. 15, 2014, murder of Antonio Spraggins in Elyria.

On July 6, a Lorain County Common Pleas Court jury listened to closing arguments on both sides, which summarized what jurors and the court learned during the week of testimony.

Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Sherry Glass told the jury that all of the testimony has not shown that Spraggins, 22, did anything to deserve what happened to him.

'He was sitting in a car getting ready to party, getting ready to go to T & A lounge,' Glass said. 'The state of Ohio wasn't trying to hide that from you. Defense attorney (Michael Stepanik) made sure he pointed out that there was some drugs on Spraggins' lap.

'Does that mean he deserved to be shot, ambushed, gunned down?'

Glass argued that there were no drugs in Spraggins' system and that it didn't contribute to his death.

What caused his death was Williams walking to his vehicle, taking his gun, smashing the window and shooting three shots into and near the vehicle, she said.

Williams is facing two counts of murder and one count of felonious assault.

During his closing arguments, Stepanik said he and his client are looking for the whole truth.

'The truth is Jordan Williams' gun killed Antonio Spraggins,' he said. 'The truth is that Jordan Williams along with two other individuals left the state.'

Stepanik stated that he was in the uncomfortable position to let '12 fellow citizens' know that Williams is not a saint.

'That state was able to take advantage of some of those things by giving you a lot of irrelevant evidence,' he said. 'The state was able to paint a picture that had less than the whole truth in it because of that.'

Williams was not responsible for Spraggins' death, Stepanik said.

Evidence of Williams' DNA on the bullet, he said, is not an element of the offense.

'So please, don't pry into the smoking mirrors and let's look at the whole truth, because Mr. Williams is innocent,' Stepanik said.

Spraggins was found dead in a bullet-ridden Chevrolet Equinox near Foster and Lake avenues. When officers were dispatched to the scene at 2:41 a.m., police located Spraggins body slumped over in the driver's side of the silver Chevrolet.

The vehicle came to rest in a snowdrift off of the side of the road with its engine running and tires still spinning, according to Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino.

According to search warrants previously filed in court, Williams' co-defendant, Andre Jackson, 20, of Elyria, told police that Williams cut his hand when he broke the driver side window of Spraggins' car before shooting him. After Williams was arrested, police noticed injuries on his hands, knuckles and pinky finger.

According to search warrants, Elyria police located a red Geo Tracker, in which Jackson and Williams used to flee the scene, and believed it to be registered to Williams' mother, investigators said. Police found the Tracker at Williams' home, where they determined that it matched witness descriptions at the time of the shooting.

After obtaining a search warrant, police found a 9 mm bullet casing, which was consistent with the caliber of the gun used in the shooting, detectives said.

A gun was found at a Cleveland home where an individual at the residence said he had taken the gun from a vehicle Jackson and Williams were riding in after the shooting, authorities said. The gun that was recovered was a 9 mm caliber handgun which is consistent with the caliber of the bullet casing found at the scene and the bullet casing found at Williams' home, police said.

The jury was to begin deliberating the case July 7.

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