• 72°

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

Crime

One charged, another hospitalized in fight between cousins

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Local

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star

Columnists

Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return

News

Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina

Nation/World

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped

Coronavirus

Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday

Crime

Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?

Local

City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event

Local

Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race

Crime

Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children

Coronavirus

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

Nation/World

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

News

Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?

Local

Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina

BREAKING NEWS

Kannapolis Police searching for suspect who fled scene of homicide

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County