05/01/12 — Judge denies jurors tour of crime scene

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Judge denies jurors tour of crime scene

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

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Joshua Davis talks to a person in the courtroom Monday before his and Quentin Kenon and Rashard Oliver's trial resumes.

Special Superior Court Judge Jack Jenkins ruled Monday that jurors would not take a trip to the scene of a 2008 shooting that led to the death of a Goldsboro convenience store owner -- in part, because he was worried for their safety in the Courtyard housing projects.

There were other reasons that the court denied the state's request for the visit -- the area might look different now than it did nearly four years ago; the shooting happened at night and the jury view would be conducted during the day.

There were simply too many factors, the judge concluded, that would have made recreating the scene that unfolded Aug. 18, 2008, impossible.

Jenkins made the ruling as testimony continued in the case against three men who are facing first-degree murder charges in connection with the robbery and shooting that led to the death of Ribhi Kandeel.

But the judge's decision was not the only setback experienced by Assistant District Attorney Mike Ricks Monday.

Sources with knowledge of the case said the men were offered plea deals, but that prosecutors, the defendants and their attorneys were unable to reach an agreement.

Testimony is expected to continue -- and, perhaps, conclude -- today in proceedings that will determine whether Joshua Davis, Quentin Kenon and Rashard Oliver spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Only one witness, Goldsboro police investigator Dwayne Dean, took the stand Monday.

The following is a recap of what he told the court:

* Prosecution, Witness No. 21 -- Dwayne Dean: Dean, a police sergeant with more than 20 years of experience, testified that he lead the investigation into the robbery and shooting that unfolded at the Brookside Convenient Mart Aug. 18, 2008 -- that he executed arrest warrants against each of the three men accused of killing Ribhi Kandeel. And he told the court that he processed the crime scene -- that he collected much of the evidence and took all the photographs that have, to date, been shown to the jury. Dean also testified that he interrogated each of the defendants and that Rashard Oliver brought up the incident that occurred at Brookside before Dean mentioned why he had been arrested. He also told the court that when he arrested Quentin Kenon, the warrant was executed at the same address provided to a local hotel by a woman who, just hours after the shooting, used a $100 bill to rent a room at the establishment -- that the woman was with Kenon when Dean made the arrest. But other than that, Dean's testimony was, for the most part, a corroboration of previous statements made from the witness stand.