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Ebonie Garth was found shot to death in her Southwest Decatur home Dec. 1, 2005.
Courtesy photo
Ebonie Garth was found shot to death in her Southwest Decatur home Dec. 1, 2005.

Mom hoped slain beauty was asleep
Trial begins in multiple shooting death of 21-year-old Decatur woman; defense lawyer says client did it, but calls it manslaughter, not murder

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

Monique Garth said when she entered her Southwest Decatur home Dec. 1, 2005, and saw her daughter Ebonie Garth lying on the living room floor she hoped she was asleep.

Her hope vanished after she touched the 21-year-old.

"She was cold," Monique Garth told a jury Monday during the murder trial of Corey Maurice Scott in Morgan County Circuit Court.

Scott, 28, is on trial in the shooting death of Ebonie Garth. Authorities say Scott shot Garth 12 times in the back.

The victim's mother was the state's first witness Monday.

Monique Garth said she had taken her younger daughter, Hale Warner, 10, by the home, which she owned on Arbor Avenue Southwest around 7:30 a.m. She said the child went to pick up a book to share during show-and-tell time at school that day.

The mother said that what her child saw when she entered the house "was something she will be able to tell the rest of her life."

Monique Garth said bullets were on a sofa and Ebonie was on the floor in front of it. She said she called 911 from a neighbor's home.

The evening before, Monique Garth said, she went to see her daughter while she was at work at a toy store in Colonial Mall. She said Scott came there and she became angry.

She said she didn't think it was appropriate for Scott to be visiting her daughter at work.

Patricia Gilliland, who worked with Ebonie, testified that Scott came to her job frequently and there were stormy confrontations. Gilliland said the last time he came there was Nov. 30, and Ebonie went to talk with him outside the store and returned crying.

Gilliland said Scott was talking loud and slinging his arms during the confrontation.

Nadis Carlisle, chief of Decatur police detectives, testified that he went to the home on the day the victim was found. He said he got Scott's cellular phone number from Garth's mother and called him. Carlisle said he told Scott he needed to talk with him about Ebonie and Scott wanted to know what was wrong. Carlisle said Scott told him that he had talked with Ebonie earlier. Carlisle said he told him that he probably didn't talk to her because she was dead.

He said Scott hung up and when he tried to call him back he did not answer.

During opening statements to the jury, defense attorney Larry Madison said Scott admits that he killed Garth. Madison, however, said his client is guilty of manslaughter, not murder, because he was enraged due to a conversation the two were having.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Matthews said evidence would show that Scott committed murder.

Testimony continues Tuesday in Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson's courtroom.

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