After death threats, concerns for witness safety during Stephen Mobley's preliminary hearing
The District Attorney's office said someone called the Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk’s office the week of Stephen Mobley's arrest and threatened the lives of witnesses, the judge, and jurors.
The anonymous caller said everyone involved in the prosecution of Stephen Mobley (judge, the jury, the prosecutors and witnesses) are at risk. Police traced the number of the caller back to a public pay phone.
Two of the main witnesses in the case told the DA's office they're afraid of Mobley because he's killed before, and threats were made to them by Mobley's family members and close friends.
For that reason, Channel 3 is keeping the identities of the witnesses who testified in court Thursday protected.
The charges against Stephen Mobley, 32, have been bound over to a grand jury. It was the suspect's first appearance in court after he was arrest in connection to a Labor Day shooting in Chattanooga that left two people dead. It happened at a house on Pinewood Drive.
Mobley is accused of shooting and killing Jasmine Hines and Rashaud Taylor, and shooting and injuring another woman. The surviving woman was immediately put into the city's new Witness Protection Program.
Mobley denied the accusations in a Facebook video hours before turning himself into police.
The only surviving shooting victim testified in court against her accused shooter.
"What happened to you?" DA Neal Pinkston asked, "I got shot in my right arm and my right leg," she told the courtroom.
The victim entered the courtroom with a walker. Her leg is still healing from a gunshot wound.
"I actually got to see the gun because he had it laying next to him so I actually got to see, to me it looked like a baby 9 with a little lazer on it," she said.
The witness said she saw Mobley at the party with a gun.
But she said she doesn't really remember who shot her. She blames a combination of drugs and alcohol.
"And he [the detective] asked you who shot you and you told him "I don't know," the defense lawyer asked. "Yes," she replied.
The second witness to take the stand is Mobley's cousin. The shooting happened at his house.
The witness said Mobley got angry when someone threw up in the bathroom and wanted everyone to leave.
He said Jasmine Hines refused to leave and started to argue with Mobley.
"I was trying to tell her to leave it alone, let's just go, and she was like no it's your house, and I was like alright if y'all don't want to leave I'm gonna leave," he said.
The witness said he then left the house and was not there when shots were fired.
Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter Kelly McCarthy is following the case. You can follow her on Twitter at @KellyWRCB .
I can feel how scared this witness is. He stares at Mobley after each answer, shaking. There's a line of police officers guarding behind us.