04/27/12 — Two witnesses say they are 'afraid for their lives'

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Two witnesses say they are 'afraid for their lives'

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on April 27, 2012 1:46 PM

Two witnesses in the first-degree murder trial that will determine whether Joshua Earl Devon Davis, Quentin Lamont Kenon and Rashard Vondarius Oliver spend the rest of their lives in prison for the death of Brookside Convenient Mart owner Ribhi Kandeel say their lives have been threatened.

Before court began Thursday morning, Assistant District Attorney Mike Ricks said he wanted to put on the record that a witness who testified for the prosecution Wednesday, Brenda McCall, had reported to Goldsboro police that she feared for her safety.

"Ms. McCall has informed the District Attorney's Office that after she finished testifying yesterday, she went home. At that point, she was threatened with bodily harm by a person who was in the courtroom," Ricks said.

She told the court that the person was sitting three rows behind the defendants.

And according to a police report filed Wednesday evening, someone called her from a restricted number and told her "she is not going to make it through the trial."

Special Superior Court Judge Jack Jenkins allowed the state to document the incident.

But the responsibility of protecting local residents, he added, was that of the Goldsboro Police Department.

"Obviously, if any crimes have been committed or allegedly committed, I'm certain that local law enforcement will deal with that appropriately," he said.

McCall, though, was not the only witness who made claims about threats.

Dennis Herring, the man who said defendant Quentin Kenon told him Aug. 18, 2008, to leave the store because he was about to rob it, also reported to law enforcement that he had received threats.

Goldsboro police Sgt. Dwayne Dean testified Thursday that when he went to pick Herring up from his home, he attempted to walk away.

When Dean confronted him, he alleged that shortly after he left the courthouse Wednesday, a vehicle pulled alongside him on Kornegay Street and the people inside the vehicle urged him not to testify.

"He told me he thought it was one of the defendants' kin," Dean said, adding that the encounter made Herring concerned about taking the stand.