09/20/06 — Officer testifies as trial continues

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Officer testifies as trial continues

By Lee Williams
Published in News on September 20, 2006 1:50 PM

As news of the murders of Michael Shawn Maynard and Christie Nicole Jones spread throughout the community New Year's Day in 2004, Wayne County sheriff's deputies scoured the area looking for the suspects.

Chris Brown, an acquaintance who allegedly used and sold cocaine with Maynard, was the first to be taken into custody Jan. 1, 2004, Wayne County Sheriff's Department Capt. George Raecher testified Tuesday in the continuing double murder trial of Telly Cox.

Cox, Brown's accomplice, was found at his uncle's house on Greg Drive Jan. 2, 2004, he said. Raecher told the court he received a phone call informing him Cox had been captured, so he drove to the home.

When Raecher arrived, he was told by one of his men Cox wanted to talk. Raecher and the murder suspect walked over to his vehicle with Detective Sgt. Carl Lancaster.

Raecher told Cox he knew he was involved in the murders. He read Cox his rights and placed him under arrest. Cox still wanted to talk, Raecher said.

"He told me about the guns that he stole from Mr. Maynard's (house)," Raecher said.

Raecher testified Cox told him the weapons were inside an old Saab parked in front of his uncle's house. Cox's uncle, Willie Cox, gave Raecher permission to search the vehicle.

Raecher retrieved two .22-caliber rifles, a box of shotgun shells and a crossbow from the vehicle. Raecher took pictures of the items as he removed them from the rusty vehicle, he told the court.

Raecher placed Cox in his vehicle and Lancaster, Cox and Raecher drove to the Wayne County Sheriff's Department.

Raecher told the court he read Cox his rights once again at his office, but Cox still wanted to talk. Raecher testified Cox waived his right to remain silent or to have an attorney present while he gave a statement.

Raecher typed the statement. Cox made a change, but signed the document affirming the statement was "true and accurate."

Raecher read the statement to the court Tuesday.

Raecher testified that in the statement, Cox said he and Brown used cocaine before they arrived at Maynard's mobile home. Cox said Brown turned the gun on him once they arrived and ordered him around.

Cox knew Maynard's daughter, Bailey, was in the house, according to Cox's statement. Fearing for her safety, Cox said he removed the child out of harm's way.

"I told Chris, I would risk my life for that little girl," Cox said in the statement. "I put her in the closet and told her not to come out and if anyone got hurt to call 9-1-1."

Cox also said in his statement that it was Brown who told Miss Jones to undress.

"Chris told the girl to take her shirt off," Cox said in his statement. " I think he was going to rape her."

Cox said in his statement Brown told Miss Jones to take her pants off. She started to take her pants off, but Maynard intervened.

"Shawn told Chris to chill out. Shawn was yelling at Chris. Chris shot Shawn," Cox said in his statement.

Cox also said in the statement Brown asked Maynard for the key to the gun cabinet. Maynard said he didn't know where it was. Cox said Brown put a gun in his back and told him to break open the gun cabinet.

"I hit the gun cabinet with my fist and the glass slid to the side," Cox said in his statement.

Cox said he snatched the weapons.

Cox said in his statement that he ran out of the house. He tried to put the guns down, but Brown told him to take them.

"When I was on the way out of the house, I heard another shot."

Cox said in his statement he heard Miss Jones screaming. After the shot was fired, he heard silence.

Cox said in his statement he and Brown got into Brown's girlfriend, Alonza Bedell's car and Bedell drove off. He put the weapons in the back seat with him. Brown got in the front seat. He waved a gun at both of them during the trip.

Cox said in his statement Bedell drove to Seven Springs, LaGrange, Snow Hill, Saulston and Fremont. They returned to Goldsboro and went to his friend Nikki's house. He said Brown kept sticking the gun in his back, so he grabbed the gun and got it away from Brown. Nikki helped.

Cox said in his statement he and Bedell left. Bedell dropped him off at his uncle's house.

"I don't know why Chris flipped out and shot those people," Cox said in his statement. Cox said he knew he should have called the sheriff's department, but he was "scared."

Wayne County Assistant District Attorney Claud Ferguson handled the questioning for the state. Defense Attorney Rosemary Godwin questioned Raecher on her client's behalf.

Godwin asked Raecher why he didn't have any statement from his investigators that corroborated Cox's story about visiting Nikki on North Carolina Street the day before his arrest. Godwin also asked Raecher why no one followed up with the person from whom Brown and Cox purchased the cocaine.

Jurors also heard testimony from Dr. Thomas Owens, a medical examiner who revealed the findings of an autopsy conducted on Maynard and Miss Jones.

Owens testified Maynard died from a gunshot wound to the neck. He said the shotgun used in Maynard's murder was fired at close-range. He also stated a toxicology report showed Maynard had cocaine in his system and his blood alcohol level (BAC) was .22 percent -- nearly three times the legal driving limit of .08 percent.

Owens testified Miss Jones also died from a gunshot wound to neck. Owens also concluded the shotgun used in Miss Jones' murder was fired at close-range to her left hand, which severed her thumb. Shotgun pellets riddled her upper torso, severing a main artery in her neck.

Toxicology reports showed Miss Jones had no cocaine in her system, but had .02 percent BAC. Owens also revealed Miss Jones had not been sexually assaulted.

The case concluded with testimony from Pat Matthews from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations who collected evidence from the crime scene. The case was halted at 4:30 p.m. due to a computer malfunction that prevented the prosecutor from showing crime scene photos to the jurors using a projector screen.

The Cox double murder trial resumed at 9 a.m. today in Courtroom 4 at the Wayne County Courthouse. Superior Court Judge Russell Lanier Jr. is presiding.

Cox, 23, of LaGrange, 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, 22, has since pleaded guilty to the murders and is serving two consecutive life sentences. Brown's girlfriend, Bedell, 22, who drove the getaway car and initially lied to authorities, also pleaded guilty to lesser charges for her role in the incident.