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Toomer plea leads to 6-year sentence in shooting

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — A Spencer man charged in 2006 with attempted murder in a home invasion will spend more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to lesser charges in Rowan County Superior Court.
Christopher Jerome Toomer, now 24, has been sentenced to 80 to 105 months in the N.C. Department of Correction.
Toomer entered an Alford plea in court Feb. 8 as part of a plea agreement. The Alford plea allows a defendant to maintain his innocence while acknowledging prosecutors have sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.
The court dismissed a charge of attempted murder against him.
In June 2006, Toomer, then 18, was charged, along with Corry (also spelled Cory) Demario Davis, then 21, with shooting Robert Edward Nichols in the chest during a West Bank Street home invasion.
Co-defendant Davis pleaded guilty in August 2009. He served more than two and a half years and was released in December. Davis accepted a plea agreement as well.
He spent roughly three years in jail awaiting trial.
Salisbury Police investigators said in a search warrant application that two men went to Nichols’ home, where he was sitting on a couch in his living room. One suspect came into the house and the other stood at the door, the warrant said.
One man called Nichols by his nickname, “Shorty.” When he stood up, the intruders fired three shots, and one of the bullets hit him in the chest. The suspects ran out of the door.
A neighbor saw the two run from the scene; one of them dropped his baseball cap. Authorities identified the suspects as Toomer and Davis.
At the time of the shooting, authorities were looking for Toomer in connection with a kidnapping and robbery earlier in June 2006.
An indictment said Toomer confined and restrained Marcus Keith Thompson for the purpose of “terrorizing” him.
A warrant said Toomer took $80 from Thompson and threatened him with a handgun.
Toomer was also on pretrial release for two other offenses — possession of a stolen vehicle in 2003 and a assault by pointing a gun in 2004.
The 2004 charge came from an incident involving victim Mario Parks.
Both Toomer and Davis were known gang members.
As part of their sentences, they are not to have contact with Nichols, and they are to split restitution of $17,641.29.
Toomer is also to pay $1,844.50 in court costs, $480 in attorney fees and $60 in miscellaneous costs.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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