Outbursts, outfits cause delay in Nashid Porter murder trial


BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — It was an intense start to the murder trial of Nashid Porter. This morning at the Pender County Judicial Annex, pretrial motions and proceedings were held. Porter will represent himself in the courtroom for the 2012 murder of Brian Grant in Wilmington. 

At today’s pretrial proceedings, Hon. Chuck Henry held Porter in contempt of court five times for a variety of reasons, mostly for interrupting and speaking over the judge and district attorney.

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First they discussed Porter’s desire to obtain Islamic garments from his family to wear during the trial. There was some arguing about the best way to get in contact with family members. Eventually District Attorney Ben David said his office had tracked down one of the relatives and had also reached out to local Islamic centers to find the clothing Porter desired. Later on in the proceedings, Porter claimed he never requested the clothing, but they are still working on getting it before proceeding with jury selection.

Porter continued to claim that this was the most “unconstitutional trial” he had ever heard of, claiming that the judge and DA’s office were working together to corrupt the people available for jury selection. Porter had filed a motion claiming that there was not enough minority representation in the grand jury pool. The judge denied that motion.

“I understand I’m black but I’m not ignorant,” was Porter’s response to the motion being denied.

Throughout the proceedings, Porter spoke out of turn and on top of others speaking, particularly when the judge would try to explain court procedures to him.

There was also debate about whether Porter had received transcripts of evidence recorded on CDs. Porter said he did not, while the DA’s office said he did. Henry said he would make sure Porter has the ability to go over everything on the CDs and their transcripts before those witnesses are called to the stand.

The claims from Porter continued as he said the DA’s office was intercepting his mail and that he was not given a number of subpoenas, which the DA’s office said he was presented with and refused to sign for.

When Henry presented Porter with the paperwork in question, he began exclaiming that a deputy needed to take them off his table. When the judge said they should remain there for him to look over as Porter had originally requested, Porter took the paperwork and threw it into the gallery of the courtroom.

After that dramatic display, the judge asked that be ended and Porter leave the courtroom. The afternoon session began with excusing a juror for military service. The judge then released the jurors for the rest of the afternoon.

Follow Taylor at @TaylorYakowenko for updates.