SAVANNAH — Three men charged with murder in the Christmas Eve shooting of a 19-year-old debutante killed her for no reason and laughed about the crime later, a prosecutor told jurors in closing arguments Thursday.

“Jennifer Ross did nothing to this man except say ’no’ and run away,” said prosecutor Christy Barker, pointing in the courtroom to alleged shooter Michael Thorpe. “He wasn’t going to put up with that. He shot her in the back.”

She urged jurors to convict the three men and “tell them you don’t want to live in a city ruled by thugs.”

Ross was shot Dec. 24 shortly after 3 a.m. when muggers ambushed her and three of her friends near Orleans Square in Savannah’s downtown historic district. Hours earlier, she had been presented as a debutante at the city’s Christmas Cotillion.

Ross died a week later, on New Year’s Day, at the hospital where her father is an executive.

Defense attorneys argued prosecutors based their case on fuzzy eyewitness accounts and testimony from friends of the defendants willing to incriminate them for personal gain.

A cash reward of $37,000 was offered for information leading to Ross’ killers. And several witnesses who were inmates at the Chatham County jail testified they hoped to reduce their own charges. They testified they heard the three defendants brag that they committed the shooting.

“Testimony of deal cutters, deal seekers, drug dealers, convicted felons, liars and thugs — that’s reasonable doubt,” said Richard Darden, Thorpe’s defense lawyer. “If they throw enough crap on this wall, I guess, they think you’ll be duped by some of it.”

Attorneys wrapped up their closing arguments Thursday afternoon in Chatham County Superior Court. Judge Penny Haas Freesemann reviewed the charges with jurors before they began about an hour of deliberations before they were excused for the night. They were to continue at 9 a.m. Friday.

All three defendants — Thorpe, 26, Webster Wilson, 25, and Kevin Huckabee, 21 — face mandatory life sentences if convicted of Ross’ murder.

Prosecutors say Thorpe fired the shot that killed Ross while Wilson held up one of her friends, Brett Finley, and pistol-whipped him in the head. Huckabee, they say, waited for them in a getaway car — a stolen Ford Taurus.

“They didn’t get her purse. They didn’t get (Finley’s) wallet,” Barker said. “They shot Jennifer Ross to death over nothing and laughed about it later.”

Defense attorneys seized on statements to police by Ross’ friend, eyewitness Brannen Miles, that at least one of their attackers was a white man with a blond goatee. All three defendants are black.

Darden accused police of “racial profiling” from the beginning of the case. Barker, the prosecutor, said Miles may have mistaken witness Sean Thorpe, whom she called a “light-skinned black man,” as being white. Sean Thorpe testified he was an accomplice in the robbery attempt.

Ross told doctors at the hospital that a black man shot her. Finley described the man who pistol-whipped him as being black, and pointed out Wilson in court as closely resembling his attacker.

The lead police detective, Don McCutcheon, had testified Wednesday it’s unusual for robbery gangs to include members of different races.

“The idea that black people and white people can’t be partners in crime, that’s ridiculous. That’s insulting,” said Brian Daly, Wilson’s defense attorney.

Police found no physical evidence — fingerprints, DNA or even a gun — to link the defendants to the slaying.

The prosecution case hinges mostly on Thorpe’s uncle, 25-year-old Sean Thorpe, who testified he set out with his nephew, Wilson and Huckabee in the wee hours Dec. 24 looking for an “easy target” to rob in downtown Savannah.

The district attorney granted Sean Thorpe immunity from prosecution in exchange for his cooperation. The witness said he got scared during the robbery attempt and was running away when he heard shots fired. He also testified Michael Thorpe said afterward that he shot Ross.

Defense lawyers told jurors they shouldn’t trust Sean Thorpe, and said he may have been the gunman who shot Ross. Sean Thorpe testified he bought the gun his nephew used to shoot Ross and said he later threw it into the Wilmington River.

“I don’t know if Sean was there or not,” said Amber Pittman, Huckabee’s lawyer. “There’s evidence he was the shooter and there’s evidence he knew only what the police told him. But I know he’s unworthy of belief.”

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