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Key testimony heard in cheerleader murder trial

The 15-year-old sister of Tera’le Rawls took the stand Tuesday and in emotional testimony described the last moments of her sibling’s life.

The suspect, Frank Brice, 19, showed no emotion.

“When I realize she was shot there are still shots firing,” said the teen, describing the scene at the Carmike Royal Palm 20 movie theater parking lot in July.

ABC Action News is not identifying the 15-year-old because of her young age.

She had gone to the popular gathering space with her 17-year-old sister after a party. She said dozens of people were there when she heard the shots clear across the parking lot. She turned and noticed her sister was in trouble.

“I see Tera’le gripping to her chest, ” she cried. “She has blood coming out of her nose. She falls and she fell in the floor of the seat. I tried to lift her back up to the seat, but I couldn’t.”

A male friend driving the car desperately tried to get her to a hospital, but they never made it. A trooper ended up stopping them near U.S. 301 at State Road 70 after seeing them drive erratically.

The trooper testified he called 911. EMS crews could not save her.

The popular Riverview High School cheerleader about to enter her senior year died minutes later. Witnesses back at the theater identified Brice, a former high school football player, and another teen, Jasper Dudley, as the alleged shooters.

But the defense is trying to discredit the witnesses, saying there’s no proof Brice even had a gun.

No weapons were ever recovered.

Prosecutors said it’s unclear who may have fired the fatal shot.

Both teens face second-degree murder charges and both face life in prison if convicted.

For the Rawls family, the trial is taking a toll. They not only lost their daughter, but are close friends with Brice’s family. At one point both moms, the victims and suspects sat together.

Attorneys said barring any surprises they expect the trial to wrap up on Thursday.

The other suspect, Dudley, is expected to head to trial next month.


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