11/18/11 — Jury will get Ingram case today

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Jury will get Ingram case today

By Gary Popp
Published in News on November 18, 2011 1:46 PM

Closing arguments were to begin this morning in the first-degree murder trial of Windsor Devone Ingram, who could be sentenced to life in prison if he is found guilty of killing Tomorris Njai Raynor in September 2007.

Ingram went on trial in January for Raynor's death, but the case ended in a mistrial when the jury could not come to a unanimous decision.

Raynor was shot to death in the front yard of his Mount Olive home.

Ingram has spent more than four years behind bars. He is currently the inmate with the longest time spent in the Wayne County Jail.

Ingram testified in his own defense Thursday. He denied shooting Raynor and told the court he was with his two children at their Fairview Circle home in Goldsboro at the time of the murder.

He said he was with the children while their mother was in school. She returned at about 2:45 p.m. and they prepared the children to attend a birthday party, Ingram said.

Raynor was shot about 2:40 p.m., investigators have said.

Ingram described the party, the people who were there, even the kinds of food being grilled and the brand of beverages being served.

Ingram's mother and her sister also took the stand, testifying that he is a good father and was not involved in Raynor's killing.

Earlier in the day, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bedford concluded the state's case, after calling North Carolina Chief Medical Examiner Dr. John Butts to testify.

Butts, an expert in forensic pathology, examined Raynor's remains the day after he was killed. He told the jury that Raynor died after being shot multiple times in the back.

Previous testimony revealed that a 9mm Ruger handgun was used and that it fired at least eight bullets. Butts said Raynor was struck by six bullets, four of which were in his back.

At the request of Mrs. Bedford, the doctor explained the trajectory of each bullet. Photos of the Raynor's body taken at the medical examiner's office were then viewed by the jury.

Mrs. Bedford also showed the jurors phone records that showed calls made from Raynor's late grandmother's home the day he was killed.

The grandmother had a home on South Kornegay Street, several doors down from where Raynor was killed. Records revealed that a call was made at 2:16 p.m. to a number that neither Gurley or Mrs. Bedford have been able to positively connect to a source.

Gurley argued that the number belongs to a man named Johnny Holmes. The prosecution argued that the number belonged to Ingram and that he had made up the name Johnny Holmes so he could open a cell phone account for illicit use.

Mount Olive police Capt. Tommy Brown testified that days after the murder, Ingram used a cell phone with the number that was dialed from the grandmother's home about 25 minutes before Raynor was shot.

The phone records from the grandmother's home also included a call to the Mount Olive Police Department and 911 at 2:48 p.m., minutes after the shooting.

Brown also testified Thursday that eight grams of crack cocaine found in Raynor's lifeless right hand was enough to indicate a drug deal was being conducted.

Jurors were expected to enter deliberations today.

Superior Court Judge Robert F. Floyd of Robeson County is presiding over the case.