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Trial underway in Walmart parking lot murder

The trial began Monday for the two men facing up to life in prison in Shiawassee County for the murders of two Flint men in a Walmart parking lot on M21 near Owosso.{ }(Photo: WEYI/WSMH)

CORUNNA, Mich. - The trial began Monday for the two men facing up to life in prison in Shiawassee County for the murders of two Flint men in a Walmart parking lot on M21 near Owosso.

The chief assistant prosecutor on the case opened the day with a very bold statement to the jury

Daniel Nees said, "Both of those men, ladies and gentlemen, were shot and killed by this man Otis Smith."

Smith and Anthony Holloway are both on trial for the murders of Joe Carson and Anthony Hammond. Police say Smith and Holloway killed and robbed Carson and Hammond on January 27 in Caledonia Township.

While she knows this is what has to happen, Diana Carson is struggling with reliving her son's murder.

"My son begged for his life and they shot him anyway," said Diana Carson, Joe Carson's mother.

Sgt. Mike Philips was the first officer on scene back in January when Carson and Hammond were found shot dead inside a white Dodge Nitro. He testified about what he saw that day.

"The driver was slumped over on his right side," said Sgt Mike Philipps, Michigan State Police.

An expert witness from Michigan State Police testified that she analyzed the victim's phones. She told the jury she discovered a text message conversation between Carson and someone else as they negotiated a deal for Carson to sell them between one and two pounds of marijuana.

There's a third suspect in this case. The woman police say drove the getaway car for Smith and Holloway. She took a plea deal. That had given Carson's family some hope they wouldn't go to trial. But Holloway and Smith didn't strike a plea deal.

"Why do we have to go through this? I don't understand why we have to go through this if she flipped. So they did this and they had every intention of doing this, why do we have to sit here and go through this with the family?" said Diana Carson.

As a grieving mother, Diana Carson just hopes these two men are found guilty and get the maximum at sentencing.

"They spend the rest of their lives in prison because we don't have the death penalty here," said Diana Carson.

NBC25FOX66's Stephanie Parkinson spoke briefly with the suspect's family members off camera. They didn't want to speak on camera but told her their loved ones are not cold-blooded killers.

The trail is scheduled to pick back up Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. in Corunna.


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