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Murder trial finally begins

After years of delays, Eric Antwon "E-love" Wilson's trial is under way.

By MOLLY MOORHEAD
Published March 27, 2007


DADE CITY - Six years after "Little" Ronnie Barber died in a hail of gunfire outside a Trilacoochee nightclub, one of the men accused of killing him went to trial Monday.

Eric Antwon "E-love" Wilson, 32, is charged with second-degree murder and faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Witness Mike "White Mike" Norris testified Monday that he arrived at Rumors about 11 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2001 with Barber, who he said was like a brother to him. They were talking with friends in the crowded parking lot when a green car with a tan top pulled in and turned on the high beams.

"About that time, Little Ronnie said, 'There they go,' " Norris said.

Norris testified that Wilson and another man fired repeatedly at Barber, who had his arms up in surrender.

Then 23-year-old Barber crouched down behind the door of his car, but a bullet struck his left shoulder and went into his heart. He bled to death at the scene.

Norris speculated that it was Wilson's co-defendant, Scottie Lee "D'Angelo" White, who fired the fatal bullet.

"But both of them were actually shooting," he said.

White has twice been tried and convicted.

He is serving a life term in prison.

Authorities have said the shooting occurred after Barber refused to pay for some cocaine.

Under cross-examination, defense attorney Aldo Ojeda questioned whether Norris could truly identify Wilson.

Norris acknowledged that he didn't know him or recognize the car but said he had seen Wilson around.

Willie Tookes, Barber's stepbrother and the first to testify, said he was hanging out with friends in the Rumors parking lot when the shooting erupted.

"I seen two dudes get out of the car," he said. "I seen Eric Wilson."

Tookes, just 15 at the time, did not come forward as a witness until late last year. He said he was afraid because Wilson had threatened his life a week after the shooting.

Ojeda pressed for another reason. Tookes said he decided to tell his story also because his family was fearing an acquittal.

It's not the first such allegation in the case, which has been delayed many times.

In October, Latrice Marbra, Barber's cousin, failed to show up in court to testify.

Witnesses said there was a rumor that Wilson had offered her $10,000 and bought a plane ticket to keep her away.

But Marbra was in court Monday. She is scheduled to testify later this week.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at 352 521-6521 or moorhead@sptimes.com.