TAMPA, Fla. - An ad on Craigslist became the focus of a murder trial in a Tampa courtroom Tuesday.
Dontae Johnson is facing first-degree murder for the death of James Beck. Prosecutors say, back in January of 2017, Beck and his 15-year-old son Stuart were selling a dirtbike on Craigslist.
Johnson and co-defendant Ramontrae Williams responded to the ad and Beck drove from Holiday to Tampa make the sale.
But prosecutors say when Johnson handed Beck a wad of cash, it wasn't the amount they agreed to and Beck returned the money.
Stuart, one of the first witnesses to take the stand Tuesday, says that's when Johnson pulled out a gun and both father and son ran to their truck.
"He had turned the ignition over and got the truck started and the firearm was shot by the taller individual," Stuart testified.
FROM 2017: Second teen arrested in Craigslist murder
Ramontrae Williams and Dontae Johnson
Prosecutor Jennifer Johnson says that "taller individual" was in the courtroom – and pointed to him.
"The shooter in this case was Dontae Johnson, the defendant in this case," she stated.
But the defense tried to shift the blame to co-defendant Ramontrae Williams. Hillsborough public defender Maria Dunker told the jury he cut a 12-year prison deal with the state so he would flip and testify against Johnson
"When he learned just how much trouble he was really getting into, he decides to point the finger at someone else – Mr. Johnson," she said.
Murder victim James Beck
Prosecutors reminded the jury what this case was all about: A father’s life senselessly cut short in front of his young son.
During the end of Beck's testimony, the state played a frantic 911 call Stuart Beck made when his father was shot.
"Dad, I love you, man! Don't die, don't die!" Stuart yelled on the recording.
Stuart listened to it from the witness stand and wiped away tears, as did some jurors.