UPDATE: More Witnesses Will Take Stand In CLT Protester Murder Trial
CHARLOTTE, NC– Defense attorneys are trying to discredit the confession tape of Rayquan Borum.
Defense attorney Mark Simmons started out the day Tuesday by cross-examining Detective Richard Jones with CMPD.
“You told him he killed Justin Carr. Is that true?” asked Simmons.
Det. Jones answered, “Yes.”
Prosecutors say Rayquan Borum admitted to police he shot Justin Carr in a two hour interrogation video. Det. Jones was in that video.
“Your goal with that only subject is to get him to tell what you say happened,” said Simmons.
Det. Jones reiterated, “I want him to just tell me the truth.”
The defense is implying police coerced a confession out of Borum.
“You put your hand on his shoulder,” said Simmons. “You put your hand on his heart.”
Det. Jones answered yes to both statements.
You continued to tell him your version of what happened,” said Simmons.
“Parts of it, yes,” said Det. Jones.
Prosecutors continued to build their case that Borum came to the protests to shoot police, and Carr stepped into the bullet’s path. They spent the morning showing evidence from the crime scene, like a shell casing. They jury will decide if it is enough to discredit the defense’s idea that a shard from a police smoke canister could have hit Carr.
“We did use pepper balls, CS gas canisters smoke 36 and flash bangs,” said Officer Luke Amos.
“Are these balls less than lethal weapons to get people to move?” asked Glenn Cole.
Officer Amos answered, “Yes.”
Jurors still have to hear from the medical examiner about whether they think a bullet hit Carr. They also have to hear that two hour confession tape.
Original Story (Posted Feb. 25th, 2019):
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Rayquan Borum trial starts again Tuesday with another round of witnesses from prosecutors.
The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office called five witnesses Monday after giving opening statements.
Assistant District Attorney Glenn Cole looked Borum in the eyes and said he killed Justin Carr.
“The bullet he fired from his gun was meant for a police officer that night, and Justin Carr had the misfortune of stepping in the path of that bullet,” said Cole. “He told his friends he was going to shoot a police officer.”
Prosecutors quickly called Carr’s mother to the stand after giving those opening statements. She cried when she described taking her son off life support one month before his baby boy was born.
“He was already gone, brain dead, no function. Had to make the decision to take the plug out,” said Vivian Carr.
Defense attorneys told jurors in their opening statements that they will show reasonable doubt.
Attorney Darlene Harris says multiple things could have struck Carr’s head that night.
“Tear gas, pepper balls, people throwing things that exploded,” said Harris.
They told jurors police had to pin it on someone or risk more unrest in the city after the CMPD officer shot and killed Keith Scott.
“This had to go away. It had to go away fast., and when things go away fast, you rush,” said Harris. “It couldn’t happen here. It couldn’t happen in Charlotte. This could not be the Charlotte that was hosting
All-Star, bidding for the RNC. Pay attention to what was going on the surrounding circumstances.”
Prosecutors called a freelance journalist, Ryan James, who called 911 when Carr went down right beside him.
I saw someone with a pistol raised as that person was turning around to run,” said James.
Carr’s best friend, Jonathan Covington said, “When I dropped my phone and turned around, I immediately looked toward Justin and saw him laying on the ground.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deptartment Det. Richard Jones says surveillance video shows that the bang everyone heard was gunfire, despite what the defense argues.
“I was able to see a subject in white t-shirt extend his arm and was able to see a mussel flash which I know is consistent with a gunshot,” said Det. Jones.
Testimony will start again Tuesday with Det. Jones still on the state. Defense attorneys are cross-examining him on how he was able to match Borum to the man in the video in crowd of protesters.
There’s no indication of how long this trial will last or how many witnesses each side plans to call. We still have to go through a two hour confession tape before a jury begins deliberating.