Witnesses told police that two men charged in the slaying of a Lexington pizza delivery driver were at the site of the killing, and one witness was threatened, according to testimony Thursday in Fayette District Court.
Antonio Lewis, 30, and Cameron Rashawn McClellan, 28, are charged with murder and robbery in the April 19 slaying of Salahuddin Jitmoud. He was found dead in a first-floor breezeway at an apartment complex on Trent Circle in Lexington. He was delivering pizzas for Pizza Hut when he was killed.
One witness reported seeing Lewis and McClellan just after the stabbing and described Lewis standing over Jitmoud holding a knife, detective William Brislin said during the preliminary hearing. It was a "large kitchen knife," Brislin said.
The witness was told, "Don't say anything or you'll be next," Brislin testified.
Another witness reported seeing Lewis in the immediate area, walking from one building in the apartment complex to another, shortly before Jitmoud was robbed and killed, Brislin said.
Both witnesses knew Lewis by name, Brislin testified.
After hearing the testimony, District Judge Megan Lake Thornton ruled there was sufficient evidence to send the charges against McClellan and Lewis to a grand jury for review.
Lewis told police he saw Jitmoud arrive at the apartment complex and enter the breezeway, according to Brislin's testimony. Lewis maintained that he didn't see anything else until he noticed the victim on the ground in the breezeway.
Jitmoud, 22, died of a "large open wound to the front of the neck," Brislin said in the first official description of the fatal wound.
Some members of Lexington's Muslim community feared the slaying was a hate crime. But Brislin said Thursday the motivation was robbery.
McClellan told police that Lewis had directed him to act as a lookout at the apartment complex while Lewis robbed Jitmoud, the detective testified.
Lewis acknowledged being outside the apartment complex on the evening of April 19, but he denied any involvement in the stabbing, Brislin said.
Lewis' defense attorney, Bridget Saunders, sharply warned her client to stay quiet at one point when Lewis attempted to speak during Brislin's testimony. Saunders is with the capital trial branch of the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.
The defense asked about forensic evidence that police have collected, but Brislin said it was too early in the investigation to provide such details.
No witnesses described seeing the robbery, and no witness other than McClellan described seeing the assault, Brislin said.
Police arrested Lewis on April 27. McClellan was being held on another charge in the Fayette County jail last week when police charged him in the slaying.