09/15/05 — Testimony continues in Moore trial

View Archive

Testimony continues in Moore trial

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on September 15, 2005 1:50 PM

The first-degree murder trial of Marcus Dominique Moore was to resume late this morning in Wayne County Superior Court after a one-day delay because of Hurricane Ophelia.

Judge Jay D. Hockenbury recessed court Tuesday afternoon until 11 a.m. today, because he commutes from his home in Wilmington. That coastal city had been brushed by the Category 1 storm.

Marcus Dominique Moore


Moore, a 26-year-old Goldsboro man, was accused of the fatal shooting of Jonathan Deon Yarborough, 31, of Beal Street on April 16, 2004. The victim's body was found at about 1:30 a.m. outside of a home at 511 Denmark St.

After Assistant District Attorney Matt Delbridge offered a two-minute opening statement, he began the state's case Tuesday.

The first witnesses, Shalita Hopson, testified she looked from a window and saw Moore not only fire the shot but also beat Yarborough.

Rhonda W. Branch, who was a 911 dispatcher at the time of the murder, identified a tape of the call about the shooting. Other witnesses included Rosalie Brieske, an emergency medical technician who was dispatched to the scene, and Christopher Crawford, the first police officer to arrive.

The day's final witness, Linda M. Keesler, then a police identifications officer, is expected to return to the stand today and review evidence collected at the scene.

One witness, Kwamisha Kornegay, 25, of Woodrose Drive, was subpoenaed Aug. 23 to testify, but she did not show up Monday or Tuesday. Judge Hockenbury charged her with contempt of court, ordered her arrest and set her secured bond at $25,000, if she is found.

Moore, who had lived in the Denmark Street home, does not face the death penalty. If he is convicted of first-degree murder, he would be sentenced to life in prison. He also might be convicted of a lesser charge or acquitted.

Police said the shooting centered around a drug dispute between the two men.

Defense lawyer Geoff Hulse is expected to claim that the shooting was justified because of self-defense. During jury selection, he admitted that the evidence would show that Moore fired the weapon that killed Yarborough.

A jury of nine women and three men was empaneled to hear the case that is expected to take at least a week.