• 27°

Investigators testify in murder trial about collected evidence

SALISBURY — Local and regional investigators testified in court Thursday about the evidence they collected, stored and examined in the October 2014 double murders of Antonio “Tony” Walker and his uncle James “Junior” Walker.

The men were shot and beaten during a home invasion and robbery that turned deadly.

On trial for their deaths are Darius Abel and James “Mikey” Robinson. A third man, Kenneth Abel, who is the cousin of both defendants, accepted a plea agreement in September in exchange for testifying against them.

Jurors heard from Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Detective Lt. Chad Moose, who said although his agency was not the primary responders it did offer assistance. Moose and other Rowan detectives went door to door asking neighbors if they’d seen or heard anything and searched the area near the house.

Moose said detectives checked about 34 homes in the area and turned over their notes to the Spencer Police Department.

Moose said while checking the area, he found a du-rag on the ground in a grassy area. He said he asked the hospital to contact law enforcement if anyone reported to the emergency room with a gunshot wound, something he said he does as a general rule when investigating a shooting.

Moose also had interaction with Kenneth Abel during his interview with SBI agents, which was done at the Sheriff’s Office. Moose said he collected a DNA cheek swab from Abel.

Spencer police Officer Jeremy Crews said he collected a cellphone and a gorilla mask that were found in the middle of the road near the Eighth Street Ball Park. Crews placed the phone in a plastic bag and, because the mask could have contained biological evidence, he placed it in a brown paper bag.

Spencer police Investigator Shane Safrit said he is also the department’s evidence custodian. Any evidence collected by officers would have been stored by him. He inherited the job sometime after the murders, so the evidence collected in this case had already been stored at the Police Department.

Jurors also heard from State Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Kelly Lawrence Wright, who testified about the evidence she collected and processed. That included a Chevrolet Equinox that belonged to Darius Abel’s mother and was driven by Kenneth Abel after the murders. Kenneth Abel used the sport utility vehicle to drive to his girlfriend’s home in Winston-Salem.

Former SBI Agent Brian Armour also testified about taking photos at the crime scene.

Testimony will continue at 9:30 a.m. Friday with Brian Armour.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

Comments

China Grove

Growing greens: Main Street Marketplace hopes hydroponic garden will help organization grow

Education

State Board of Education delays decisions on Faith Academy, East Spencer charter school

Local

Financial update shows city ‘faring OK’; council allocates first donations from Share 2 Care program

Education

Education briefs: Smart Start Rowan to host drive thru Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration

Education

Salisbury High School will debut its production of “The Nutcracker” virtually

Local

NC Dolls, Toys and Miniatures Museum gets recognition in Our State magazine

China Grove

Santa Claus to visit China Grove on firetruck on two separate weekends

Education

RCCC awarded $1.3 million federal grant

Crime

Family mourns, asks community to turn on porch lights for anniversary of A’yanna Allen’s death

Christmas Happiness

Couple give to Christmas Happiness to honor siblings

China Grove

China Grove Town Council names representatives to Metropolitan Planning Organization

Crime

Police: Salisbury woman charged after officers witness drug transaction

Coronavirus

County reports 69 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Crime

Salisbury woman charged in fatal hit-and-run accident

Local

Charity provides vests for K-9s

Local

Rowan’s Sen. Ford ‘honored’ to be chosen as joint caucus leader

Local

City council approves six road repaving projects, encourages input on development priorities

Business

State names Rowan among most economically distressed counties

High School

High school volleyball: South Rowan wins another CCC match

Education

Catawba College’s Service of Lessons and Carols moves virtual

Local

Spencer’s Park Plaza financing gets OK from state’s Local Government Commission

Education

Kannapolis City Schools to hold public hearing on construction equity policy

Local

Drivers identified in I-85 double vehicle crash, fire

Local

Driver cited in two-vehicle Mooresville Road collision