CROWN POINT | Testifying Thursday in the murder trial of Jeremy Blue, a witness to the last moments of Judi Simpson-Beaver said she urged the dying store clerk to hold on.
Shot twice, once in the face, Simpson-Beaver was still breathing when discovered by the mother of a witness who later would identify the 22-year-old Blue from a photo lineup.
Annette Tucker, then residing in the nearby apartment complex, had entered the store after her three children alerted her to the robbery of the Lucky Mart Foods convenience store in Merrillville.
Tucker, wiping her eyes, told jurors she discovered Simpson-Beaver lying quietly but still alive behind the counter only to soon hear the woman's last gasp.
Tucker later supported earlier testimony by her eldest son, Tyshawn Kidd, who told jurors he saw an individual leaving the store carrying two trays from a cash register and wearing a white "Jason" mask, alluding to a character from the "Friday the 13th" horror movies.
Two days later, Kidd identified Blue from a photo lineup presented by detectives.
Also testifying Thursday was an FBI analyst called in to determine the suspect's height from complex video analysis. Video surveillance showed the shooter wearing a hoodie sweatshirt pulled over a hockey-style face mask.