WACO, Texas — Witnesses took the stand Wednesday for the third day of trial for a Waco smoke shop owner accused of hiring an acquaintance to kill a man.
By the end of the day, the defense and prosecution had rested their cases.
Prosecutors tried to prove Tyler Clay hired Keith Spratt to kill Joshua Pittman because Pittman robbed Clay at gunpoint after a dice game.
Pittman was shot and killed in December 2015 at the Pick N Play food mart on Faulkner Ln. in Waco. Clay and Spratt were both arrested on capital murder charges in 2017.
James Spears, an inmate at McLennan County Jail who claimed to be the one originally planned to be the hitman, took the stand Wednesday.
Spears admitted he wanted help on his case in exchange for information on the murder.
Spears said that while he was housed with Spratt in jail, Spratt told him Clay had paid him $15,000 to kill Pittman. According to Spears, Spratt told him he went to the smoke shop, put on a mask, walked in and shot Pittman.
Spears also said he had offered to help Spratt kill another man.
Detective Melissa Thompson of the Waco Police Department also took the stand Wednesday.
Thompson said once Spratt was considered a suspect, she went through his phone and found multiple calls between Spratt and Clay before and after the killing.
Clay's defense attorneys later accused Thompson of trying to help former witnesses like Spears get reduced sentences.
The defense did not call any witnesses during the third day.
The jury is scheduled to begin deliberation 9 a.m. Thursday.
If Clay is found guilty, he could face life in prison.