MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The murder trial of 30-year-old Martin Arrendondo Evenes got underway Monday at the Madison County Courthouse before Circuit Judge Patrick Tuten.

Evenes was one of three charged with capital murder in the 2018 death of 3-year-old “Sweet Livia” Robinson.

Trials set for three charged in Huntsville toddler's shooting death

Police said the drive-by shooting happened at a home on 615 Murray Road in March 2018.

Brittany Kingston, 31, and Dominique Russell, 30, are also charged in Livia’s death. Their trials are set to take place after Evenes trial, according to recent court filings.

At Evenes’ preliminary hearing in April of 2018, Investigator Frank Rosler with the Huntsville Police Department said Evenes confessed to firing shots at the house. But Rosler also testified Evenes never said that he was aiming for a specific person.

In his opening statement today, Evenes attorney Brian Beck argued it’s not about disproving that Evenes fired the fatal shot, because he did. The defense argues the issue under Alabama law is proving that he had the intent to shoot and kill. 

“Nobody is expecting him to get away with it,” he told the jury. “We ask that the punishment reflect the level of intent.”

Officers say witnesses told them the shooting stemmed from an ongoing argument. They say a confrontation on social media continued through the evening. Witnesses today testified a Facebook argument had broken out the day of the shooting and a number of threats were made.

Among those who testified Monday were the child’s mother, Demetrius “Mimi” McComb; the mother’s friend, Ashley Waldrop; Brittany Kingston who was in the back seat of the car when the shots were fired. and Dominique “Dedee” Russell, who drove the car and owned the gun.

According to testimony Mimi and her daughter were standing by the door when the shooting happened.

Brittany Kingston testified she wanted to be taken to see her mother at a Windmill store off U.S. 72, but Evenes wanted to go the house where Mimi lived. She testified she and Evenes were drunk all that day.

Russell testified he kept the gun in his glove compartment and while they were driving Evenes asked if the gun was still there. And, Russell testified Evenes was the shooter.

Testimony wrapped up around 4:35 p.m., Monday and will resume Tuesday morning.

Madison County District Attorney’s Office Chief Trial Attorney Timothy Douthit, is the prosecutor for all three cases. He said none of the three suspects will face the death penalty if they are convicted of capital murder. Under Alabama law a capital murder conviction carries only one of two sentences, the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.