Search warrants: Murder suspect Witt Alexander picked out of photo lineup

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 5, 2018

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man who is facing first-degree murder charges in the death of 25-year-old Mariah Turner was identified by a witness from a photographic lineup, according to a search warrant.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chad Moose wrote in the search warrant, which was issued Monday, that Turner was shot through the front door of her family’s home at 1425 N. Long St., not far from Long Ferry Road.

Witt Darnell Alexander Jr., 25, was charged June 24 with first-degree murder, discharging a firearm into an occupied property, and assault by pointing a gun. He remains in the Rowan County Detention Center without bond.

“The suspect had been outside the residence when the shots were fired,” the warrant said.

Several bullets passed through the front door. Turner was shot as she tried to close the door, according to the warrant.

Deputies found Turner injured and began giving first aid as emergency services crews arrived. Officials said Turner died of her injuries at the scene.

Investigators have said Turner and Alexander did not know each other and they do not think she was a target of the shooting.

A witness who saw the assault told investigators that a black man approached him on foot and tried to get into the house as a second suspect dressed in black walked into the yard. After the first suspect failed to get into the house, he fired several shots into the front door and ran from the scene, the witness said.

The witness said a car drove up to the house as the assault began. The witness recognized the suspect but didn’t know his name. Detectives identified the man the witness described as Alexander.

Alexander was one of six people whose photos were included in a lineup that was presented to the witness, who said Alexander was the man who shot Turner.

The warrant said detectives talked to LeAndra Rorie, who “originally made a statement to sheriff’s detectives she had been home with Witt Alexander all night.” A search warrant was issued for Rorie’s cellphone.

The warrant said investigators believe at least two other people were involved in the shooting, but they were not identified.

Investigators determined that Alexander is an associate of Renard Adams. In a recorded phone call, he asked a woman to contact “Nard” and gave the woman a phone number, the warrant said.

Investigators said the suspects communicated through various cellphones, and several phones were seized.

Another search warrant was issued June 24 for a Caldwell Street duplex apartment. A witness told investigators that Alexander lived at the duplex and described the white Cadillac he drove. Detectives went to the address and found a white Cadillac in the driveway. A license plate check showed the vehicle belongs to Alexander.

Detectives also applied for a warrant to search a silver Chevy Malibu that was also parked at the apartment.

Alexander was arrested at his apartment at 807 S. Caldwell St.

Detectives confiscated two cellphones at the apartment — an iPhone that belongs to Alexander and a Samsung phone found on a couch cushion.

Alexander could face the death penalty on the first-degree murder. The maximum penalty for shooting into an occupied property is 19 and a half years, while the maximum sentence for assault by pointing a gun is 12 and a half years.

Alexander has previous convictions for simple assault, felony common law robbery, felony possession of marijuana, credit card theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. He has a pending 2018 traffic infraction with a July court date.

Alexander is expected in court July 13 for a probable-cause hearing.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.