Jury selection set to begin in Vance Street murder trial
The Daily Reflector
Monday, January 22, 2018
The first of four men charged in what authorities have said was a random shooting that killed a man on Vance Street in 2015 is scheduled to go to trial on Monday, according to the Pitt County District Attorney’s office.
Adric Brown was 17 on Feb. 6 when he and three other teens were driving in the 200 block of Vance Street and spotted a pedestrian, Kwaime Thompson, 23, who had just dropped off a birthday present at the home of a friend. Authorities have reported that the teens did not know the man, although one of the suspects told police Thompson owed him money.
About 11 p.m. the car pulled up next to Thompson and they engaged him in a conversation, according to statements made by prosecutor Caroline Lawler at a Sept. 2016 bond reduction hearing for Brown.
“Mr. Brown pulls out the gun that he requested be brought and shot Mr. Thompson,” Lawler said during the hearing. Thompson died from a gunshot wound to his head.
It was a completely random crime and Thompson was an innocent victim, just walking down the street, minding his own business, Lawler said in the hearing.
Lawler said the investigation has determined that Brown told one of his co-defendants earlier that night to bring a gun along during a drive around town.
During the ride, Brown made comments about robberies he would commit, about the weapons he would carry with him and about how many gang members he had under his command, Lawler said.
“The defendant decided he wanted to shoot somebody that night,” she said.
He announced his intention to the others and one of them dared him to by saying, “No you won’t,” Lawler said.
In requesting the bond reduction, Attorney Ann Kirby said Brown had good support from his family, his pastor, cousins and godmothers, who all attended the hearing.
Brown finished ninth grade at North Pitt High School but dropped out in the 10th grade, she said. He had worked in a warehouse and did some field work.
Brown, who is now 20, had some mental conditions and had been receiving psychiatric treatment beginning when he was 5 years old, Kirby said during the bond hearing. He took medication for ADHD and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in 2004, she said.
The judge asked Lawler what Brown’s co-defendants would testify about what Brown did that night.
“They’ll testify he was a shooter,” she said.
Brown’s co-defendants, Wanya Shiver, 19, Raquan Tyner, 20, and Jaquan Deshaune Johnson, 21, remain in the Pitt County Jail under $2 million bonds. Their next court date is Feb. 8, according to court records.
A search warrant application by Greenville Police Department Detective C.D. Atkinson that said he followed several leads in the case and interviewed Brown on Feb. 18, 2015.
The statement said Brown confessed to his involvement in the incident and provided the names of four others who were present and details about their roles in the homicide. Investigators have never confirmed the involvement of a fifth person.
Brown provided the detective the nickname Quan as one of the people in a vehicle used during the shooting and said that Quan lived at a mobile home on Hop Tyson Road in north Greenville, according to the document.
Brown said he and the others dropped Quan and the murder weapon off at the mobile home after the shooting. He also said the weapon that was used to murder Thompson was in the possession of Quan, later determined to by Raquan Tyner.
Detectives conducted an interview on Feb. 19 at the police department with suspect Shiver. According to the document, Shiver told police that Brown was the shooter and that he used a 40-caliber handgun that was provided by Tyner.
Shiver also said Tyner was dropped off at his mother’s mobile home on Hop Tyson Road. Tyner later told Shiver that he took the weapon to his residence at 2415 Elaina Drive and placed it on the bookshelf inside the living room.
According to an inventory of seized property, a black High Point handgun, a black holster and a document with the name Raquan Tyner was seized from the residence along with a shirt from the Explorer youth program operated by the city of Greenville. Tyner had attended the program for a short time.
Documents in the case file provide conflicting information about which of the men shot Thompson and offer a possible motive for the shooting.
Towanda Mason, mother of Jaquan Johnson, also met with police department investigators on Feb. 18, 2015, according to court document. Mason said a Pitt County Sheriff’s deputy left a message on the door of her residence at 4743 Ariel Drive, Grimesland asking Johnson to contact them. When Johnson saw the message, he thought it was it was regarding the murder of Thompson.
Johnson told his mother that Thompson owed him money, she told police, and that on the night of Feb. 6, 2015, he confronted him. Mason told detectives that Johnson admitted to shooting Thompson but told his mother he didn’t mean to. Mason said she purchased a dark green Ford Explorer for Johnson to use and that the vehicle was used on the night of the murder.
Johnson told Mason that “Toot” and “Wanya” gave him the gun, and that after the shooting, he gave it back to Toot. Toot was identified as Adric Brown and Wanya as Wanya Shiver.
About that time, police were able to make contact with Sheanita Brown, the mother of Adric Brown. Sheanita Brown agreed to bring Brown to the Greenville Police Department to be interviewed, according to court documents.
Brown to police on Feb. 18 that he did not actually shoot Thompson, according to documents. He positively identified Jaquan Johnson as the driver of the vehicle and Wanya Shiver as a passenger along with Tyner and the unknown fifth subject.
Brown was charged with one open count of murder on Feb. 19. His gray Tracfone was seized. That same day, Shiver came to the Greenville Police Department with his mother Tara Cooper to turn himself in.
The seach at 2415 Elaina Drive, the residence of Tyner, recovered the .40-caliber handgun believed to be the murder weapon. Tyner said that the firearm recovered at his residence was the weapon used to shoot Thompson, according to case file documents.
Pitt County District Attorney said she expects jury selection in the case to begin today and the case could take a week to try. Brown is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.