“Lemuel James.I am 21,” James answered in response to Assistant District Attorney Christopher Hackman’s first questions.“Did you recently transfer schools?”Hackman asked.“Yes,” James said, “I go to LancasterBibleCollege.”James said he and Micah Stewart were “step-brothers.”He said he had known Stewart for about 10 years.Hackman asked him if he knew Cortney Fry.James said, “Yes, she was Micah’s girlfriend.”Hackman asked if they had a baby together that was born on July 4, 2004.James said, “Yes.”
Hackman asked if James was aware that Cortney was missing.James said “Yes.”He said Stewart had gone to Delaware after she was missing.“Do you recall the day he came back?” Hackman asked.“Did the police interview him?” he continued.“I think so,” James said.He said they interviewed him at 829 Blunston Street which was the home of Stewart's mother, Cindy Adams.“Did he come to see you that same night?” Hackman asked.James said, “Yes.”
“What did he tell you?” Hackman asked.“He told me that they had an argument at his apartment.He said they had a fight.She ended up on the floor.He choked her.”“He choked her until she was dead?” Hackman asked.“What I remember – she died – he didn’t exactly say what happened,” James said.
“What did he do with her body?” Hackman asked.“He burned her – took her somewhere.”“Where did he burn her?” Hackman asked.“In the woods,” James said.“How did he get there?” Hackman asked.“By car,” James said.“How did he burn her?” Hackman asked.“He said he poured some kind of fluid on her,” James said.“Did he tell you why he did that?” Hackman asked.“No,” James said.
Hackman asked what happened next.James said he was scared for Micah - because of “jail and stuff.”He said he drove him to New York City that night to his cousin’s house in Brooklyn.He said he left him (Stewart) there and he came back.Then, James testified, he began to have “second thoughts” because, “I got myself involved.”He said when he came back and drove by Stewart’s apartment the police were searching it.“Did he tell you he gave the police the okay to search his car and apartment?” Hackman asked.James didn’t answer but repeated that when he came back he “saw the police there.”He testified that he then told his mother about it.He testified that he took his mother and drove back to New York and got Micah. They brought him back to Columbia.
Renteria crossed. “What date did you have this discussion with Micah about Cortney?” Renteria asked.James said he did not know.“Do you know what month?” Renteria asked.“I think it was early August,” James said, “or it might have been late July.”“Do you know what day of the week it was?” Renteria asked.“No,” James said.James said it was late July or early August when he made the trip to Brooklyn.He testified it was sometime in the night – “between 10 and ”
“Did Micah ever tell you, ‘I killed Cortney Fry?’” Renteria asked.“No,” James said.“He said he choked her.”“How many times have the detectives interviewed you?” Renteria asked.“About 10 times,” James said.“Why did they speak with you so many times?” Renteria asked.James said, “I guess it’s because they believed I had knowledge of what happened.”“For you to be truthful and honest with them it took 10 times?” Renteria asked. “Did they threaten you to testify?” Renteria continued.“They said they would do what they had to do,” James answered.“Did you feel compelled to give them testimony?” Renteria asked.“Yes,” James said.
Hackman re-directed.He asked James why it took ten times for him to tell.James took a tissue and began to cry.“We’re close,” he said meaning he and Stewart. “You didn’t want to be involved in the case, did you?”Hackman asked.James indicated no. “What did I ever ask you to do?” Hackman asked.“Tell the truth,” James said crying.