BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – The trial is underway in the case of a man accused of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors said 22-year-old Jorge Perez and four others were involved in a robbery plot that resulted in the shooting death of Panama City Beach resident Ed Ross.
“Ed Ross was killed by these co-defendants and the defendant was the one that helped plan it and was the one who set this up and but for his actions, Ed Ross would still be alive,” prosecutor Mark Graham said.
On December 29, 2019, Perez and four others descended on Ross’ home.
Prosecutors said they were there to rob Ross, but the situation quickly got out of hand when three of those involved opened fire.
Ken Ross is the victim’s father. He had opened the front door for the suspects when his son came out of the shower to the living room. He witnessed the shooting.
“There were multiple shots and one in fact reached over the loveseat and fired on Ed while he was on the floor,” Ross said.
Valerie Maddox lived across the street and went over to help.
“That’s where I found Ed laying on the floor and I gave him CPR and I called 9-1-1 in the middle of all the chaos and I was with him until the paramedics got there and moved me out of the way,” Maddox said.
While Perez didn’t fire at Ross himself, prosecutors said he is considered to be the mastermind behind the robbery attempt, being nicknamed “The King” by the co-defendants.
Perez is charged with first-degree felony murder with a firearm and attempted armed robbery with a firearm.
He is the second defendant to face trial.
A jury found co-conspirator Abel Ortiz guilty of first-degree murder back in April.
Two other co-defendants struck plea deals with the state in exchange for their testimony, but the defense cautioned the jury to be wary of what they have to say.
“I think the evidence is going to show that you are going to have to really look at their credibility,” defense attorney Rusty Shepard said.
The trial will continue tomorrow morning with more witnesses taking the stand.