Co-Defendant Goes on Trial for Murder at Mill Woods Apartments

Lynchburg, VA - A Lynchburg man pleaded not guilty to murder on Monday. Dennis Watts Jr. is charged with eight felonies, including murder, burglary and abduction.

Police say he guarded the doorway while Raheem Johnson shot and killed Timothy Irving in the Mill Woods Apartments last year.

The lead detective testified hearing Watts Jr. admit to his father that he was at the victim's apartment the night of the murder but did not pull the trigger.

The victim's girlfriend also identified Watts as one of two men who stormed into her apartment last April, yelling "give it up," before allegedly shooting Irving in the forehead at point blank range. A jury convicted Johnson of pulling the trigger last month.

DNA recovered from a black skull cap believed to have been used in the killing matches Watts' DNA.

The defense claims Watts Jr. orchestrated a drug deal between Johnson, his older brother and the victim but was not involved in the murder.

Johnson's brother has not been charged with any crime related to this case.

The defense will continue presenting its theory to the judge Tuesday morning.

Watts faces life in prison if convicted.