Trial begins for man accused of killing a Cedar Rapids teenager - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Trial begins for man accused of killing a Cedar Rapids teenager in 2012

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

They've been waiting two years to see justice and now friends and family of Latasha Roundtree are hoping it's around the corner.

Tajh Ross's trial began Tuesday. He's charged with first degree murder. Prosecutors say he shot 19-year-old Roundtree nearly two years ago.

Reggie Williams, Roundtree's father, told KWWL he's emotional to talk on camera right now but told us he's looking for answers. He thought Ross was his daughter's friend. He's glad to see the trial start because he's been waiting a long time to learn what happened that night.

In September 2012, Roundtree was in a car headed to a party. She was shot and later died in a hospital.

At just 19 years old, she was a recent graduate of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, where she was on the homecoming court and played on the basketball team.

Days after her death a reward was offered to help lead to arrests. It still took a little over five months for that to happen and then four people were arrested on various charges with police saying they were responsible for Roundtree's death. A fifth was arrested later.

Four young men pleaded guilty but made a deal with prosecutors. They would testify against Ross when it came time for his trial.

Prosecutors say Ross was responsible for pulling the trigger. He's pleaded "not guilty."

A lot of Roundtree's friends and family were in court Tuesday. Some of them are expected to be called as witnesses over the course of this trial.

This is a bench trial which means a judge, not a jury, will decide whether or not Ross is guilty. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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