Witnesses shed light on fight that ended in fatal shooting
It was a feud over a small amount of money and marijuana that quickly escalated to the fatal shooting of Jamil M. Bryant outside his home, according to new testimony during the third day of the trial of Terrance X. Perez — the alleged triggerman.
During his testimony in Lycoming County Court Wednesday, Rory Herbert confirmed he was in a fight with Bryant before Bryant was shot later that night on May 11, 2015.
“It was over 3 grams of marijuana … about 20 bucks,” Herbert said. “Jamil shorted me money and I had his phone.”
Bryant came to Herbert’s grandmother’s house that day trying to get his phone back, Herbert said.
Things escalated and Bryant entered the car and punched Herbert in the face.
“He threatened to shoot me and I said, ‘We can go in the alley right now and you can shoot me,’ “ Herbert said.
Bryant then walked away because “he was my friend,” Herbert said. “It was just a petty fight.”
After the fight, Herbert said, he called his cousin, Brandon Love, to tell him about the incident.
“Brandon picked me up and called Jamil. They talked about guns and shooting each other,” Herbert said.
Herbert went back to Bryant’s house on Anthony Street later and talked about the fight.
“We talked about arguing over $20 and that it was petty,” Herbert said. “We were good.”
Jada Jenkins, the mother of Love’s child, was with him when he picked up Herbert and took him to Cosme Berrones’ apartment, she said during her testimony.
Berrones pleaded guilty last week to third-degree homicide for his involvement in the killing and testified Monday.
When the three arrived at the apartment, Perez already was there, Jenkins said.
Jenkins left to run errands, but the argument between the group of men had gotten worse when she got back, she said.
“It got intense,” Jenkins said. “Jamil told Brandon that he would ‘blow my (expletive) head off’ over speakerphone and Terrance heard it.”
Perez then told Bryant that he was going to kill him, she said.
After the call ended, the argument continued over text message.
Perez and Berrones left and came back with a black semi-automatic rifle, she said.
He put in the magazine, unfolded the stock and said, “Let’s do this,” Jenkins said.
“The three men were gone for about an hour and when they came back, Terrance was jittery,” she explained. “He was walking around and mumbling to himself. He changed his clothes and then said, ‘Let me know when that (expletive) dies’ before he left.”
Jenkins told city police shortly after the shooting that Love and Berrones were in Bloomsburg the night Bryant was killed.
But she admitted Wednesday that she was afraid of Perez and that Love told her to say it.
Sometime around 10 p.m., Herbert got a call from Berrones asking where Bryant was, he said.
He got another call from Bryant’s brother around 11:30 p.m. saying that Bryant had been shot.
Bryant suffered 13 wounds from small caliber bullets that night, said Barbara Bollinger, an expert witness in forensic pathology.
“One wound was to the head,” she said. “The manner of death was homicide.”
While recently housed in Lycoming County Prison with Perez, Herbert was handed a letter through the bars of Perez’ cell.
“He said go upstairs and read it,” Herbert said.
The letter was written to Perez, telling him how little Herbert talked to police about the incident compared with Love and Berrones.
“He offered me $20,000 if I plead the fifth,” Herbert said. “And that we would go to Miami when he got out.”
Perez faces charges of criminal homicide, conspiracy of criminal homicide, two counts of aggravated assault, conspiracy of aggravated assault and possession of a prohibited firearm.
Perez’s trial is scheduled to continue today and through Monday before President Judge Nancy L. Butts.