• 73°

Rowan authorities dismiss 2018 murder charges against Witt Alexander

SALISBURY — Authorities have dismissed the case against a Rowan County man who was jailed on murder charges for 14 months after an eyewitness placed him at the scene of a June 2018 shooting.

The home invasion led to the death of 25-year-old Mariah Nicole Turner and her unborn child.

Witt Alexander

Witt Darnell Alexander Jr., 26, was released Tuesday from the Rowan County Detention Center after serving 444 days awaiting trial on charges of first-degree murder, discharging a weapon into an occupied property, assault by pointing a gun, possession of a firearm by a felon and murder of an unborn child.

Surveillance video reportedly shows Alexander at the Epicentre shopping mall in Charlotte at the time of the shooting. Alexander was initially charged June 24, just hours after the shooting at Turner’s Long Street home.

Court records filed Tuesday show Alexander was charged primarily based on “eyewitness identification.” A search warrant filed in July said a photo lineup was used to pinpoint Alexander.

“Since that time, additional information has been developed during the course of the ongoing investigation,” the court documents say. “The new and additional information tends to support an alibi for the defendant, thereby placing him in another location during relevant times.”

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

Alexander was one of six people whose photo was included in a lineup that was presented to the witness. The witness identified Alexander as the man who shot Turner.

Investigators said that intruders arrived suddenly at Turner’s home about 2 a.m. and tried to force their way in. Someone fired multiple shots into the residence. Turner was shot after she tried to close the front door. When deputies found Turner, they rendered aid until Emergency Medical Services crews arrived.

She died at the scene as a result of her injuries.

In a 2018 interview with the Post, Alexander’s girlfriend, La’Andra Rorie, said Alexander was innocent and she disagreed with the findings reported in search warrants. Rorie told the Post she tried to provide detectives with information, but she felt they had made up their minds that Alexander was guilty.

“All they got is somebody said it was him,” Rorie said in 2018.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Department officials said additional information was found that “potentially supported an alibi that was provided by the defendant. The current charges for Alexander have been dismissed.”

The Sheriff’s Office declined further comment, saying the investigation is ongoing and Alexander is still a potential suspect.

A Post reporter was unable to reach Alexander’s attorney, Doug Smith, by deadline.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

Comments

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police

Local

Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies

Business

After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status

Lifestyle

39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership

Local

Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education

News

After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both

Education

East Spencer after-school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status

Lifestyle

Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

College

Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame

Nation/World

J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

13 deaths reported in Rowan, county stresses need to receive second dose

Coronavirus

10% of Rowan residents receive first dose; eight COVID-19 deaths reported this week

News

North Carolina State Highway Patrol commander to retire

Education

UNC School of the Arts may go for online learning due to COVID-19 spread

Coronavirus

Greensboro site to administer 3,000 daily vaccine doses starting March 10

Nation/World

Update: $1.9 trillion relief bill passes House, moves on to Senate

Nation/World

Lady Gaga’s dogs recovered safely

Coronavirus

Update: FDA follows advisers’ recommendation, OKs single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from J&J

Local

Post wins 18 N.C. Press Association Awards

Education

Cooper vetoes bill that would force K-12 schools to reopen

Local

Lanning named Spencer’s fire chief