Woman testifies in fatal shooting
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Aug 28, 2013, 12:51
HOPEWELL — A witness in a fatal shooting at Hardee’s last month gave a first-hand account in court on Monday.
Eugenia Epps testified in Hopewell District Court how she witnessed Joseph Lemue Green, 62, shoot Hardee’s manager Velacita Jones, 39, outside of the Oaklawn Boulevard establishment on July 8. After being rushed to the John Randolph Medical Center, Jones died from an upper body gunshot wound hours later.
Epps, who works at the Hardee’s, testified during a preliminary hearing that Jones and Green were having a discussion inside the restaurant before it was taken outside. After Jones and Green walked outside of the restaurant, Epps said she followed moments after to find Green holding Jones by the collar of her shirt in the parking lot and told Green to “let her go,” a demand that Green ignored.
Green then pulled a firearm from what appeared to be the back of his shirt and shot Jones, Epps said.
After Green shot Jones, he began firing at Epps, so she ducked and ran back toward the restaurant, avoiding being hit by three gunshots, Epps testified.
Epps hid in the restaurant for a moment, after which she went back outside to find Jones covered in blood in the parking lot, Green nowhere to be found and the black vehicle he arrived in was gone, Epps said.
Green, currently being held at Riverside Regional Jail, was escorted into the courtroom in a dark green jumpsuit. He was using a walker, and sat down in a chair before the judge’s stand, where he remained silent for the majority of the hearing, often staring at the ground.
Green faces multiple felony charges including first-degree murder, shooting a firearm in a public place, possession of a gun within 10 years of a previous nonviolent felony conviction and two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
A final disposition of the preliminary hearing reports that Green will be subjected to a grand jury and will continue to be held without bail at Riverside Regional Jail until his trial date which has not been scheduled yet.
Green was at a veteran’s hospital due to medical issues when he was arrested by members of the Hopewell Police Department and the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force on July 8.