Lead investigator testifies in December 2017 murder trial

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 5:45 PM EDT|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 6:20 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The trial of a woman accused of a Savannah murder continued Wednesday with testimony from the lead investigator on the case.

Deborah Garner is accused of shooting and killing Eric Jenkins near Montgomery Street and West Park Ave back in December 2017. Garner claims it was self defense.

State prosecutors questioning lead investigator Brittany Dobbs for hours.

She was asked about what Garner told investigators.

WTOC also learned what Garner’s phone search history was in the days after the shooting.

During a lengthy testimony lead investigator Brittany Dobbs telling prosecutors surveillance video allowed law enforcement to track Garner’s silver Hyundai the night of the shooting.

Prosecutors showed video from The Jinx bar where they say Garner left to more than a mile away driving near where the shooting took place around the time investigators say Eric Jenkins was shot and killed.

From there Dobbs testified that she tracked the car to Statesboro where she questioned Garner describing her calm demeanor as strange.

“Most people will kind of start freaking out, trying to explain why they were certain places and that kind of thing,” Lead Investigator Brittany Dobbs said.

Dobbs testified Garner told her she didn’t have anything to do with a dead body, and that she didn’t hang around with people like Eric Jenkins.

Dobbs also said Garner never described being threatened that night.

“Had anyone tried to hurt her or had anyone made any threats against her. Do you recall that?”

Dobbs: “Yes”

Prosecutor: “And what was her response?”

Dobbs: “No”

Dobbs also reading the search history of records obtained from Garner’s phone.

Prosecutors say those searches happened before Garner was questioned.

According to the phone records read in court those searches include

“Body found Savannah, Georgia”

“Eric Lamar Jenkins”

and “Montgomery Street and West Park crime.”

Prosecutors say phone records show those searches started just hours after the shooting.

On cross examination defense attorney Richard Grossman tried to poke holes in Dobb’s questioning of Garner.

Grossman asked Dobbs if she believed she was forthcoming in her questioning.

Dobbs says she was.

WTOC also heard from other investigators who combed through crime scene evidence.

The jury for the most part seemed focused on the testimony but at times did seem to struggle to focus on the lengthy video of Garner’s questioning shown Wednesday.