Three years ago, Tarry Green said her boyfriend warned her she’d be the next to die if she ever told police what he’d done.
For six hours Thursday, Green ignored that threat, offering a Spokane jury a chilling account of what Joseph D. Andrews did one morning in February 1994.
In grim, painstaking detail, she described the moment when Andrews, on trial for murdering a Spokane couple, took out a handgun and said to her, almost whispering, “I’m going to kill him.”
Moments later, Andrews is accused of shooting both victims - Larry Eaves and his companion, Eloise “Cissy” Patrick, both 37 - several times in the head.
Andrews, 26, is facing a possible death sentence for aggravated first-degree murder.
Green, who has been protected by Spokane police for the past two years, is the sole witness to the slayings, according to prosecutors.
They needed Green to explain how and why Andrews, known as “Jo Jo,” committed the slayings. They have no physical evidence tying him to the crimes.
Jurors must decide if Green, 27, is a reliable witness who escaped the web of Spokane’s criminal underworld, or whether she’s an opportunist trying to keep herself out of prison.
Defense attorneys admit that Andrews, who moved to Spokane in early 1994, was a drug dealer.
They spent most of Thursday afternoon cross-examining Green, suggesting she is falsely accusing Andrews and may even be concealing her own involvement in the killings.
But the defense never challenged the witness’ claim that she sat next to Andrews during the early morning car ride that preceded the killings.
She began her testimony by telling the jury that she met Andrews at a friend’s party in late January 1993.
He had money and he enjoyed spending it on her. They became constant companions, she said.
He sold drugs in the West First area, and Green said she sometimes held the money after he completed a deal.
The night of Feb. 18, 1994, she saw Andrews yelling at another man outside the Coach House restaurant on West First.
Andrews was demanding money and waving a gun, but Green said she convinced him to give it to her.
Later, after giving him back the gun, they went to Chan’s Dragon Inn and ordered takeout food early in the morning of Feb. 19. In the parking lot, Andrews and Green accepted a ride from Eaves, who was driving Patrick’s car.
Green said an argument flared when the intoxicated Patrick, who is white, noticed that Andrews, who is black, was in the car.
“Do we have to take this nigger for a ride?” Patrick blurted, according to Green.
Upset, Andrews and Green got out of the car. Eaves followed, urging them to overlook Patrick’s remark.
At that point, Green said Andrews pulled out his handgun and waved it at Eaves.
But they got back in the car and drove to a Safeway near Browne’s Addition to buy cigarette papers for some marijuana.
Along the way, Green said Andrews insisted Eaves pay his $1,000 drug debt.
Andrews was “a little angry” but not out of control, the witness testified.
Eaves parked the car at the edge of a parking lot. Green said Andrews, seated with her in the back seat, whispered that he was going to kill Eaves.
In less than two seconds, she said Andrews pulled out his pistol and loaded the chamber. Tucking her head between her legs in fear, she heard a quick succession of “six to eight” gunshots.
“All I know when I lifted my head was there was smoke everywhere,” Green said.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Kevin Curtis challenged the credibility of her story.
He made sure the jury knew that months after the killings, when Andrews went to California, police interviewed Green and she fabricated an alibi for him.
Two months later, she changed her mind, naming him as the killer and agreeing to testify against him.
Did that happen, Curtis asked the witness, because police “handed you a sheet of paper reading State vs. Tarry Green when they interviewed you?” Green denied being offered any deals in exchange for her testimony.
Curtis prodded Green numerous times into saying “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember” when quoting from previous statements she’s made to investigators.
Curtis also produced a photo of Green from three years ago. It was his way of countering her earlier testimony that Andrews in 1994 was a swaggering Camel-smoking tough guy with a shaved head - not the studious, glasses-wearing defendant quietly taking notes during the trial.
In contrast to how Green looked Thursday, a soft-spoken woman wearing a white wool turtleneck and gold chain, she appears in the photo sporting a brassy, bleached-blonde hairstyle, with the stern, street-wise look of a woman years older than she really is.
The Superior Court trial should last two more weeks before deciding if Andrews is guilty. If he’s convicted, jurors will then decide if he receives the death penalty.