Conspiracy charges, gang affiliations prohibited in murder trial
The Daily Reflector
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Prosecutors may not mention gang affiliations and activity nor pursue conspiracy charges against a 20-year-old Greenville man who is accused of shooting a man to death on Vance Street in 2015, a judge ruled in Pitt County Superior Court on Monday.
Adric Brown appeared relaxed in his suit and bow tie as he smiled and talked with his attorney Robert Lane III during the first day of Brown’s murder trial. He’s among four men accursed in the death of Kwaime Thompson, 21, on Feb. 6, 2015.
Lane’s request for dismissal of the conspiracy charge was granted based on the lack of evidence from a previous hearing in August. Lane also requested that the state’s witnesses be prohibited from referencing his defendant’s alleged gang affiliations and any gang-related activity.
“We anticipate there may be some discussion regarding that and want to limit it, Lane said.
That motion was also granted with the caveat that jurors receive clarification on gang-related terminology as it pertains to statements made by Brown and other witnesses during the trial.
Also on Monday, the prosecution approved 12 jurors who will be questioned by the defense this morning.
Brown was 17 on Feb. 6 when he and three other teens were driving in the 200 block of Vance Street and spotted Thompson, 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 Pitt County Assistant District Attorney 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.
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.
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.
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 search 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.
Brown is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.