Witness testimony continues for second defendant in 2019 Rochester shooting death
(ABC 6 News) – Witness testimony continued Wednesday in the jury trial of Ayub Iman. Iman is charged with aiding and abetting 2nd-degree murder for his alleged involvement in the fatal shooting of Garad Roble in March 2019.
A motorist discovered Garad Roble’s body on March 5, 2019, on the 2300 block of 4th St. SE in Rochester. He was shot eleven times.
Jurors heard from 10 witnesses for the prosecution including more investigators from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and officers with the Rochester Police Department.
Unlike Tuesday, where the jury primarily heard testimony from crime scene experts, Wednesday included testimony from the community.
A waitress and a manager from The Loop, a bar that used to be in downtown Rochester, said Roble and a group of people were in the bar just hours before he was killed. She said Roble was happy and dancing, and that the entire group appeared to be drunk.
The prosecution displayed surveillance video from The Loop, plus Meadow Park Apartments. That video showed Roble and the group but did not show Iman.
"You never saw Mr. Iman in any of those videos?" defense attorney James McGeeney asked a BCA investigator during cross-examination.
"No further questions your honor."
Another witness said Roble was at her house earlier in the evening. She testified that Roble, a usually "rowdy" and "fiesty" man, was unusually "subtle" and "respectful."
No witnesses jurors heard from Wednesday, or surveillance video linked Ayub Iman with Roble on the evening of March 4.
This comes after the first defendant charged with second-degree murder had a mistrial last December. That defendant’s name is Muhidin Abukar and the jury was unable to reach a verdict in his trial. Abukar was a part of the group regularly identified in court on Wednesday.
When court resumes on Thursday, the state is expected to bring in witnesses to speak about cellphone tracking data — something prosecutors say links, Iman, to Abukar and the scene of the crime.
Authorities found a handgun on top of the frozen-over Zumbro River on March 8. A bridge inspector working on the Elton Hills Drive bridge called it in, and investigators would later find out it was the gun used to shoot Roble.
Prosecutors argued to the jury that cell phone data would show Iman was at that bridge to dispose of the murder weapon.
Attorney James McGeeney, representing Iman, argues that cellphone tracking does not prove that Iman was there. That the phone the state is associating with Iman might not even belong to him. And that no physical evidence links Iman to the crime — no DNA, no blood, and no footprints.
Trevor Wahlen, who was on patrol with the Rochester Police Department in 2019, testified that the gun had the letters MSHP and numbers 746 written on it.
Wahlen said that he knows MSHP to be the Missouri Highway Patrol and that it’s common practice for officers to write their badge number, 746, on their gun so no one else takes it.