A former cashier is standing trial this week for a 2010 crime spree in the Forsyth County area that ended with the fatal shooting of a security guard at the grocery store where he worked.
Sharod Farran Johnson, 21, of Forsyth County faces four counts of armed robbery, two counts each of felony murder and aggravated assault, and one count each of burglary and murder.
Co-defendants Tyrice Kendall Adside, 21, and Tavarius Jackson, 19, face the same charges, but have not yet been tried.
The charges stem from armed robberies on: Aug. 25, 2010, at the Waffle House on Bethelview Road; Aug. 26, 2010, at the Chevron on Buford Highway at James Burgess Road; and Sept. 5, 2010, at Ingles on Canton Road.
During the Ingles robbery, 37-year-old security guard David Casto was shot and killed.
Casto reportedly was shot execution style with his own 9mm weapon while bound with duct tape in the store.
Nakitta Holmes, 19 at the time of the slaying, pleaded guilty in April 2012 to shooting Casto and received life in prison without parole.
In the opening statements at Johnson’s trial Tuesday, Forsyth County Assistant District Attorney Sandra Partridge called Johnson “the inside man in the Ingles robbery” and said the case comes down to responsibility.
“He set David Casto up for this ambush,” Partridge said, “and he is responsible for the death of David Casto, as if he had pulled the trigger himself.”
Johnson, who was 18 at the time, opened the back door for the three other men to enter the store and provided them with one of the guns and his car, according to Partridge. She added that Johnson also knew the store would have minimal staffing since it was the day before Labor Day.
“This was his robbery,” she said.
Partridge maintained that evidence would show Johnson also participated in the Waffle House and Chevron robberies two weeks before with the same group of people.
Bobby Wilson, an attorney representing Johnson, acknowledged that the co-defendants knew each other, but said “the fact that he knew them is not sufficient to convict.”
Wilson added that Holmes admitted to shooting Casto “on his very own volition.”
He reminded the jury to put aside emotion associated with the crimes and review the evidence with an open mind.
“Make the state prove what they’re claiming,” he said.