Henry Underwood didn't kill a North Side High School assistant football coach two years ago, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Jaevin Bowie – who was breaking into a car at East Central Towers moments before Terrance Miles, 36, was shot to death – “had motive and opportunity,” William Lebrato told jurors on the first day of Underwood's trial in Allen Superior Court.
Lebrato said Bowie repeatedly lied to investigators, fled to Mississippi after the slaying and disposed of two guns – one, a .45-caliber handgun that prosecutors said was used to shoot Miles in the hand, leg and back.
“If you didn't use the murder weapon, why the hell are you throwing it down the garbage chute?” the defense attorney asked. “There's only one conclusion that you can come to: Mr. Underwood had nothing to do with the shooting of Mr. Miles.”
Bowie, 23, had been charged with murder in Miles' May 19, 2017, death but pleaded guilty to lesser charges last year. He also agreed to testify against Underwood, 25, who is charged with murder, felony murder and attempted robbery.
They were together at the apartment complex east of downtown, and Bowie told investigators he saw Underwood shoot Miles after Miles emerged from one of the buildings. Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Stineburg said surveillance video captured Bowie leaving the area on foot, but the shooting is not shown on the video.
The shooting of Miles, who also was an administrative assistant at Forest Park Elementary School, was “senseless and opportunistic,” Stineburg said. He said witness testimony – including from a woman arrested in August after failing to show up for interviews with attorneys – will show Underwood is the killer.
Underwood and Bowie arrived at an apartment after the shooting and appeared nervous, Stineburg said.
A woman told police that Underwood, also known as Heezy or Heezie, was drinking and “acts very crazy when he drinks” and “wants to fight everybody and he doesn't care who they are,” a probable cause affidavit alleges.
“Terrance Miles was a beloved member of the community,” Stineburg said. “(Underwood) killed Mr. Miles by shooting him in the back.”