The state and defense presented vastly different pictures of Josh Bailey’s slaying Thursday during the opening statements in the trial of a man accused of killing him.
Brian Gregory Minton, 23, is charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping for 20-year-old Bailey’s July 2008 death. He is the first to go to trial of nine originally charged.
The state contended that Minton did not shoot the gun, but led a group of people to kill Bailey.
But the defense explained the situation differently — saying the group that shot the Chapel Hill man had fluid membership and no leader.
Defense attorney James Glover also said Matt Johnson, another member of the group, not Minton, shot the gun that killed Bailey.
Orange-Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall said the events leading up to Bailey’s killing began when the group started suspecting that Johnson was talking to police about their illegal activities, which included committing burglaries to get property they wanted and money for drugs.
Members of the group confronted Johnson in Minton’s garage, he said.
Johnson said he was innocent and Bailey was the snitch, Woodall said.
He said the group summoned Bailey to the garage, where Bailey and Johnson fought.
“The way to determine who was telling the truth was for them to fight,” he said.