The jury heard additional witness testimony, both called from the prosecution and the defense.
They will return Thursday morning to hear closing statements in the case.
Ware, 35, was indicted in July 2011 on charges of malice murder, felony murder, three counts of aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon from an incident that took place on New Year’s Day 2011.
Judge W.A. Foster ruled yesterday that photographs presented by the defense were inadmissible after Assistant District Attorney Andrew Garland voiced concerns that he felt the photos slandered the character of Rodney Mitchell Jr, the deceased shooting victim.
Ware’s attorney argued the photographs were a main piece of his defense, stating the photos proved that someone else had a motive to shoot Mitchell.
Rockmart resident Rodney Arzez Mitchell Jr. was shot to death during the early-morning incident, which took place in the area of Gordon and Church Streets in Rockmart.
Lisa Mason, a prosecutor with the Polk County District Attorney’s office, addressed the jury Monday afternoon in opening statements.
The state believes that the altercation leading to Mitchell’s death stemmed from a party prank gone bad.
Mason said that Ware, while attending a party in Rockmart at a home on West Church Street, fell asleep on the couch. During the time Ware was asleep, his fingernails were painted and lip-gloss was applied to his lips.
Ware woke up sometime later, and Mason contends that he was angry and demanded to know who was responsible for the prank. Mason told the jury that Mitchell was blamed for the prank.
Mitchell, along with other individuals, were outside the West Church Street home when witnesses claim Ware stepped out from a vehicle and fired at Mitchell, striking him in the head.
Mason also told the jury that witnesses stated Ware also fired and pointed a gun at two other individuals.
“This is a serious case that deserves serious attention,” Mason told jurors.
Ware’s attorney, David Smith, told the jury that the burden of proof was on the state and that the evidence did not add up.
“There was a party with more than 100 people there. There was drinking and possibly marijuana involved,” Smith said. “I expect the evidence to show that a gun was fired, but no one saw [Ware] with a gun that night … you have to ask yourselves what’s wrong with this picture,” Smith told the jury.
Much of the law enforcement testimony centered on the eight .40 caliber shell casings that were found at the scene. It was confirmed during the trial that a weapon had not been found during the investigation.
Witness testimony has focused mainly on who was in attendance during the party and Ware’s demeanor after the prank had taken place.