The trial of a South Philadelphia man accused of killing an aspiring teacher from Minnesota seven years ago drew toward its conclusion Monday.
But the accused - Marcellus "Ant North" Jones, 37 - is far from happy about the way the case has been going.
"Hey, your honor," he said, interrupting the proceedings. "I'm innocent of this crime. I didn't have nothing to do with it, and I can definitely prove it."
Later, he criticized his lawyer, Richard J. Giuliani, for failing to present images from NASA satellites that Jones felt would exonerate him in Beau Zabel's death. And when prosecutors called Zabel's mother to the witness stand, Jones had had enough.
"Yo, man," he said to a court security officer while rising from his chair. "I need to go out. I'm done with this."
Jones' antics on the fifth day of his trial drew a strong rebuke from Common Pleas Court Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi, who at one point had Jones removed from the courtroom.
They also overshadowed much of the day's testimony, as prosecutors concluded their case and Giuliani breezed through two defense witnesses.
"You come up with something every five minutes," DeFino-Nastasi told Jones after one outburst. "Anything to obstruct this case, you'll do."
Prosecutors allege that Jones, 37, gunned down Zabel, a Drexel University teaching fellow, in June 2008 as Zabel walked home after his shift at a Starbucks store at Ninth and South Streets.
Zabel, 23, was set to start teaching that fall and had moved to Philadelphia from his hometown in Minnesota six weeks prior to his death. Investigators believe Jones killed him to steal his iPod.
The case sat cold for five years because of a lack of DNA or other physical evidence linking anyone to the crime.
A series of ballistics, DNA, and crime-scene investigation experts reiterated that Monday as they testified as the final government witnesses.
Assistant District Attorneys Jacqueline Juliano Coelho and Tracie Gaydos have argued that Jones later incriminated himself through admissions to friends and relatives about his involvement in Zabel's death.
On Friday, Devonne Brinson, who served time with Jones at Graterford Prison in 2009, told jurors that while in lockup, Jones confessed to killing Zabel.
Brinson also testified that months prior to that conversation, he received a panicked call on his contraband cellphone from Jones' alleged accomplice, Tyrek Taylor, who told Brinson that Jones had shot "a teacher" during a robbery.
Jones is serving a life prison term without parole for killing Taylor in 2008.
According to Brinson, when Taylor called, he wanted to talk to his brother, Michael Wynn, who was locked in a cell near Brinson's.
But Wynn, called to testify Monday as the first defense witness, said he had no recollection of that conversation.
Sitting in a wheelchair and dressed in prison grays, Wynn sat through questioning from prosecutors and the defense, replying only with a string of "no"s, "nope"s, and "I don't know anything about that"s.
He said Philadelphia detectives came to question him later that year to corroborate Brinson's story. All he recalled of that meeting, Wynn testified, was their asking about "some murder that happened that I wasn't aware of and that I don't know nothing about because I wasn't there."
Detectives confirmed Monday that Wynn refused to give a statement during that meeting. But prosecutors sought to show his refusal was based on a general aversion to cooperating with police.
Testimony is expected to conclude Tuesday. It remains unclear whether Jones will testify. He has made no secret of his displeasure with his lawyer and earlier tried to represent himself.
But when DeFino-Nastasi, the judge, asked him Monday whether he intended to take the stand, Jones demurred. He would wait to make a decision, he said, until he saw how his defense played out.