04/11/04 — Two to go on trial for murder at liquor house

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Two to go on trial for murder at liquor house

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 11, 2004 2:03 AM

Two Goldsboro men will go on trial Monday in Wayne County Superior Court for the murder of a man and the wounding of another outside of a liquor house near Goldsboro.

William Darryl Braswell, 23, of North Drive and Quavoris Kendra Wellington, 25, of North Madison Avenue were charged with committing the crimes on May 5, 2002, on Claridge Nursery Road.

Derrick Lynn Artis, 25, of Wooten Street, Fremont, was killed, and Corey Lamont Jackson, 25, of Goldsboro was wounded numerous times but survived. The suspects allegedly used a handgun and a rifle.

Jackson, meanwhile, is serving a sentence in a federal prison after a conviction on other charges.

Braswell and Wellington will not face the death penalty, but if convicted of first-degree murder, they could be sentenced to life in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Claud Ferguson had announced that he would seek the death penalty.

But after a special preliminary hearing in May, he said he would not seek the death penalty. He did not say why he had changed his mind.

When sheriff's officers responded to a call of gunshots being fired, they found Artis' body at about 3:10 a.m. in what they described as a chaotic scene. Jackson was shot in the chest, abdomen, right side and left leg. He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated and later released.

Braswell and Wellington were arrested soon after the shootings, and each was placed in the Wayne County Jail without bond.

Both men were indicted by the Wayne County Grand Jury on March 3, 2003. They were re-indicted May 5 on a charge of first-degree murder with aggravating circumstances.

With the death penalty no longer an issue, Judge G.K. Butterfield Jr. of Wilson set the men's secured bond at $350,000 each. Both have been in jail for more than a year awaiting the trial.

Lawyer Thomas Salenger of Wilson is defending Braswell, and lawyer Geoff Hulse of Goldsboro represents Wellington.

Braswell had said in court documents that he did not shoot the men. He added that he was never put in a lineup for Jackson to identify.

Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Mike Dale was the lead investigator.

Assistant District Attorney Paige R. Kabler will join Ferguson in the prosecution.

Butterfield will preside over the trial that is expected to take up to two weeks.