Briston Smith who appeared in court Tuesday for his preliminary hearing. WRCBtv.com photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
We're learning new information about the murder of 19-year-old Charles Holsey. Court testimony Tuesday revealed Holsey was murdered over a $160 worth of marijuana.
Police arrested three 18-year-old men for the murder, including Briston Smith who appeared in court Tuesday for his preliminary hearing.
With the victim's family in the front row, court began Tuesday with a recorded conversation in March between Smith and two detectives with the Chattanooga Police Department. Smith didn't ask for a lawyer and began talking.
"We're talking like grown men. You're being a man so let's talk like this and get it off your chest, get it off your shoulders," the detectives could be heard telling Smith.
Detectives found Smith's fingerprints on the victim's car but never found a murder weapon. Smith said in the recording that the plan all along was to meet Holsey to rob him of $160 worth of pot.
"So I walked off cause it's not worth killing nobody over that," Smith told investigators. "NO! I swear to God on my son. NO! I did not reach for no gun. I did not reach in there. I did not say shoot him. I did not say nothing man. I simply walked off."
The recording ends an hour later with Smith saying he's "done talking." Smith's attorney said its a case of wrong place, wrong time, wrong friends.
"It was to be expected. It's sad," said attorney Stuart Brown. "You've got an 18-year-old boy that acted probably irrationally. We would hope that as the case goes forward that we can look at the evidence and find something acceptable to all sides.
Smith's case now goes to the grand jury. Judge Gary Starnes increased his bond from $200,000 to $700,000.
The charges against the other two men charged in the murder, Robert Thomson and Adram Young, have already been bound over to the grand jury.