He said he preferred to be considered “in management" -- not a pimp -- but Christopher Perkins admitted he ran an escort service.

He said that at about 3 a.m. on Christmas Eve 2009, he dropped Lenora Frago, 23, off at a North Side apartment complex.

He said he had arranged a visit for Frago at the apartment of Ezekiel Gilbert, 30, who agreed to pay $150 for a half-hour visit with Frago.

Perkins was the state’s first witness in Gilbert’s murder trial Friday in Judge Mary Roman’s 175th District Court.

He said that when Frago’s half-hour visit was over, Gilbert came out of the apartment and appeared angry.

“I informed him that he had paid for her time and that’s what he got,” Perkins testified.

He said Gilbert complained that he did not get the services he wanted. He said Gilbert indicated that he wanted sex.

Perkins said that as he and Frago drove away, he heard Frago say, “'He’s got a gun – go, go!'”

“Then I heard four shots and quickly sped away,” Perkins said.

He said he asked Frago if she was all right and she did not answer so he stopped to check on her.

“I asked her, ‘Can you talk?’ and she didn’t say anything,” Perkins said.

“I said, 'If you’re hurt, blink,'” he said he asked Frago. “She blinked.”

Frago had been shot at the base of her skull and was paralyzed from the neck down.

She died from her injuries the following July and Gilbert was charged with murder.

If he is found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Testimony in Gilbert’s trial will resume on Tuesday.

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.