Former evidence tech testifies in 2011 drive by shooting case - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Former evidence tech testifies in 2011 drive by shooting case

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BECKELY -

Emotions ran high as a 2-year-old drive by shooting case was held in court. Michael Harvey is accused of wanton endangerment after allegedly shooting up a house in Beckley back in 2011. But the physical evidence is being called into question by the defense. 59News Reporter Lauren Hensley tells us why a past mistakes made by a evidence locker technician may impact this case. 

Raleigh County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tom Truman asked witness Gabi Brown, "Tell the jury the reason for you leaving [the Beckley Police Department]?

"I was, I still am addicted to opiates and it caused an issue and I got in trouble at work and had criminal charges put against me," Brown answered under oath.

In 2012,  Gabi Brown pleaded guilty to federal drug charges for stealing prescription pain pills from the Beckley Police Department's Evidence Locker, while she worked there as an evidence tech. So what does her checkered past have to do with Michael Harvey--- a man accused of wanton endangerment after allegedly shooting up a home in 2011? She handled this case's evidence and now the defense is wondering has it been compromised?

Tom Truman asked, "so you were involved with the evidence in this case, in summary what did you do?

"Basically, the best I can recall some of the evidence was placed in temporary lockers and some of it came directly to me and was placed into evidence," Gabi Brown said.

The decision will be up to the jury as they continue to weigh testimony for witnesses.

Also taking the stand was Chris Hawthorne.  He was the alleged target of the gunfire. The court played a 911 call that was made by his mother after the shots were fired.

Listeners could hear a panicked Pamela Pannell after she told 9-1-1 dispatchers that bullets were fired at her son Chris Hawthorn. According to testimony, Hawthorn was a key witness for the federal government in a major marijuana bust several years ago.  Witnesses said that was the motive behind the drive by shooting. Testimony will continue on Thursday.