Tony Carl Bristol is charged with one count of first-degree felony murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of convicted felon going armed, and two counts of possession of a firearm in commission of a dangerous felony for the murder of Kenneth Harris, 33, who was shot and killed outside of Calle’s Too on Aug. 6, 2017.
Bristol is also charged with the attempted murder of Andrell “AJ” Harris. Kenneth and AJ Harris arrived at the club together that night.
The jury heard their first group of witnesses, some of them describing an argument between Bristol and AJ Harris just moments before the shooting.
Kenneth Harris was not the intended target in the shooting and was taking cover when he was fatally wounded.
Here are main points from testimony today:
- Bristol was an unarmed security guard who worked at Callee’s Too and was working the night of the shooting. Kwuang Lee, owner of Callee’s Too testified Bristol’s time card showed he clocked out at 1:22 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2017. Rosalyn Jetter, the manager that night, testified Bristol told her he “had personal or family issues, he needed to take care of,” before clocking out.
- Dwight Jemison, who was a patron outside the club that night, said he he saw Kenneth Harris, Bristol and AJ Harris standing outside. Jemison said that AJ Harris was yelling and in a foul mood that night. He thumped Bristol in the head several times and Bristol replied “Excuse you.”
“AJ was saying as he looked at the other gentleman (Kenneth Harris), ‘Why are you out here (bull-expletive) with him (Bristol)? I’m going to go get these rounds and I’m gonna kill his momma first’,” Jemison said.
AJ Harris repeated the threat twice, stating he had 100 or more rounds in his car and was going to get his gun and kill Bristol’s mother, who was also at the club that night, Jemison said.
“Then Tony Bristol blacked out, in my opinion,” Jemison said. “He had a blank look on his face. Then I heard gunshots and everyone started running away.”
Prior to hearing the shots, Jemison said he saw Bristol’s mother trying to persuade her son to leave.
Jemison said AJ Harris was wounded and lay in the doorway of the club. He said he asked for help to go get his gun.
“I told him to sit his ass still,” Jemison said.
As he tried to leave, Jemison noticed Kenneth Harris wounded and tried to apply pressure to his wounds.
As first responders arrived, Jemison said he was in shock from all that had unfolded in seconds.
“I was emotionally shocked. I’m a veteran so I deal with (stuff),” he said.
Jury trial during COVID-19 pandemic
Bristol’s trial is one of the first cases to be tried under COVID-19 restrictions in a circuit courtroom.
A jury was selected Monday morning, and with COVID-19 restrictions, the courtroom looked a bit different.
During the voir dire process, potential jurors were seated 6 feet apart in the courtroom.
The defense attorney’s table and the district attorney’s tables were moved to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Large plastic shields were used when masks could be removed.
The masked jury was seated every other seat, as well as in front of the jury box and on an additional bench next to the jury box. Large plastic shields were previously installed in front of the witness stand, presentation podium and judge’s seat. In between each witness that testified, a maintenance worker came in to disinfect the witness stand before the next witness was called.
Each witness who testified could remove their mask once they were seated behind the plastic shield.