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Opening statements in trial of Jacksonville man accused of ordering a hit on UNF employee

Jecorian McCray, 28, is accused of having his then 17-year-old stepbrother shoot and kill Joe Brenton in his own home in September 2016.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An emotional 911 call was played in court Wednesday morning as witnesses took the stand in the death penalty trial for a man accused of convincing his stepbrother to kill their neighbor in 2016.

Jecorian McCray, 28, was in jail when he allegedly ordered his then 17-year-old stepbrother to shoot down Joe Brenton in his own home. Brenton was an employee at the University of North Florida.

Brenton was set to testify in McCray's burglary trial the day he was killed.

The prosecution calls phone conversations between McCray and his stepbrother Dakarai Maxwell a confession. The defense emphasizes McCray did not pull the trigger.

Brenton's wife and daughter testified in the morning following testimony from an officer who responded to the call. Brenton's daughter, Josie said she and Maxwell and McCray were all friends. Maxwell is accused of shooting her father over 16 times, according to the prosecution.

Since his arrest, McCray has been arrested an additional five times in jail for charges including battery, attempted escape and lewd and lascivious acts. 

Maxwell, is being charged as an adult. His trial is set to begin next month.

Jecorian McCray updated mugshot (Photo: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

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