09/19/06 — Daughter speaks at Cox trial

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Daughter speaks at Cox trial

By Lee Williams
Published in News on September 19, 2006 1:54 PM

Cora "Bailey" Maynard doesn't remember what she got for Christmas in 2004, but she knows what happened the day her father died.

The 10-year-old remembers because she was there on New Year's Day when her father, Michael Shawn Maynard, 30, and his girlfriend, Christie Nicole Jones, 25, were fatally shot.

With chilling detail, Bailey recounted her version of the actions of 23-year-old Telly Cox of LaGrange and his alleged accomplice, Chris Brown, 22, during the Cox double murder trial Monday. Cox and Brown are accused of murdering Maynard and Miss Jones in Maynard's mobile home on Garrick Lane.

Bailey told the jury she was asleep in her father's room when she was awakened by a thumping sound.

"Nikki was hitting the dryer with her hands," she said. "She was trying to get down the hall to get to me."

Miss Jones rushed into the master bedroom, but a man with cornrows wielding a firearm was in hot pursuit.

Witnesses testified earlier Cox was wearing cornrows, and Brown's head was shaved on the day of the murders.

Bailey said the gunman with cornrows, a jean jacket and jeans pointed a gun at Miss Jones and ordered her to get on top of the bed.

Miss Jones, who was described as "crippled" by family after she severely injured her feet in a car accident in Wake County, complied. Next, the gunman ordered her to take off her shirt, the child testified.

She said Miss Jones then told her to crawl underneath the bed, but the gunman with cornrows grew impatient with Bailey who was then 7 years old.

"(He pointed a gun) at my head," the child told the courtroom. "He yelled at me and told me to get in the closet. I was scared."

Uncontrollable sobs from family members echoed in the courtroom as Bailey spoke, while a stony-faced Cox rocked briefly and repositioned himself in his chair.

Bailey testified that as she climbed into the closet, she spotted a bald man with "mean eyes." It was someone she knew. He would come over to her dad's house every now and then, she said.

She said she perched on top of a white suitcase inside of the closet and listened. The man with the cornrows continued to yell at Miss Jones, she said.

As Miss Jones disrobed, Maynard returned from the store.

"I heard my dad walk into the house, and I heard his footsteps coming down the hall," Bailey said.

She said she didn't hear her dad say anything to the men. All she said she could make out was "that I was an innocent child."

Then, she heard "two gunshots," the little girl told the court.

After the first gunshot, Miss Jones yelled "no," she said. After the second gunshot, Bailey said she heard nothing, other than a screen door slamming.

It was then, she told the court, she felt like she could come out of the closet.

"I saw (Nikki) holding her stomach on the bed and then she fell onto the floor," Bailey said. "She fell on the wood from the gun cabinet."

She said she looked and saw her dad lying on the floor by the bathroom.

"I tried to wake him up," Bailey said.

As she shook her dad, blood stained her hands, clothing and socks. Alone, the little girl testified she pondered her next move carefully.

She remembered seeing something on television about calling 9-1-1. She called 9-1-1 twice. Each time, she hung up because she wasn't sure if the calls were going through, so she sat on her father's favorite sofa and waited.

A sheriff deputy responded to the 9-1-1 hang up call. Bailey said she walked the deputy down the hallway and showed him the bodies.

Defense attorney Rosemary Godwin cross-examined the child on the stand Monday, trying to infer that the child could not possibly have remembered the events in such detail.

Ms. Godwin asked Bailey what she got for Christmas in 2004. The 10-year-old couldn't remember.

Ms. Godwin also tried to call the jurors' attention to the fact that Miss Bailey could only "hear" what was going on. She did not "see" what happened because she was inside the closet.

"You could hear footsteps in the hallway, but you couldn't see anything," Ms. Godwin said. "You could hear the man yelling at Nikki to take her clothes off. Then, you heard the gunshots, but you couldn't see anything."

The trial ended about 11:15 a.m. when Wayne County Assistant District Attorney Jan Kroboth was called out for a family emergency.

The case continues at 9 a.m. today in Courtroom 4 at the Wayne County Courthouse. Superior Court Judge Russell Lanier Jr. is presiding.

Cox, a convicted burglar, faces two counts of first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping and one count of attempted first-degree rape and armed robbery. He could receive life in prison without parole if convicted.

Brown has since pleaded guilty to the murders and is serving two consecutive life sentences. Brown's girlfriend, who drove the getaway car and initially lied to authorities, also pleaded guilty to lesser charges for her role in the incident.