‘Jack Boys’ trial: Day 2

Witnesses recount deadly crescendo of alleged robbing crew’s 2010 crime spree

Fear and terror highlighted the second day of testimony in the murder and rape trial of the so-called “Jack Boys” gang.

Tamario Wise, Robert Veal and Raphael Whatley are accused of leading a deadly crime spree, robbing and pillaging at will in the fall of 2010 across several Atlanta neighborhoods.

Witness after witness Thursday described being frightened for their lives as they encountered a brash group of bandits who threatened death to each of their victims, and on the night of Nov. 22, 2010, allegedly made good on their promise.

From the witness stand Thursday, Lisa McGraw described the last actions of her boyfriend Charles Boyer, who was gunned down outside her Virginia Highlands apartment as she fled for safety.

“I looked back, and Charles was struggling with one of them,” McGraw said, shrugging her shoulders and violently thrashing her arms amid tears to show the jury how Boyer fought one of three assailants who pulled guns on them that night.

“He said, ‘Lisa, just give them your purse,’” she told the court, her face flush, and she said she did and turned to run to a neighbor’s open door.

Christopher Miller recounted a different vantage point of the same incident — three men surrounding Boyer, who fought back.

Walking his dog that night, he happened upon a man in distress.

“I heard rustling that sounded like someone was wrestling,” Miller told jurors. “I saw one person with his back to me … he swung what looked like a grocery bag, and a person facing me … wearing a mask jumped out of the way.”

He realized he was witnessing a robbery and started to flee for his life.

“As I was running, I heard gunfire,” Miller said.

As McGraw tearfully recounted that same moment during her turn at the stand, Boyer’s father who was in the courtroom for testimony, abruptly stood and ran from the room sobbing.

“I heard the first shot” from behind her as she fled her attackers, McGraw said. “That’s when the girl grabbed me and pulled me into the hallway [of her apartment]. She shut the door and held me down, away from the windows. We heard two or three more shots.”

Wise has been characterized by prosecutors, and even by the lawyers for his co-defendants, as the ring-leader of the loosely organized robbing crew.

But his defense attorney Thomas Wight has insisted his client is innocent.

“The evidence will not show any DNA linking Tamario Wise to anything except that black SUV” that was carjacked during the crime spree, Wight said in his opening statement Wednesday. “I’m not sure what crime it is to be the passenger in a stolen SUV.”

Indeed, Veal’s attorney David White on Wednesday admitted his client’s guilt in the rape of a Grant Park woman, hours after Boyer was slain.

But victims continued through the proceeding to finger Wise when prosecutors put a police lineup in front of them on the stand.

The trial will continue through Thursday evening, and prosecutors expect to finish presenting their case Friday.

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