Murder suspect representing himself not participating in trial

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A murder suspect representing himself in his own trial is not participating in that trial.

Right before opening statements, Nashid Porter told a judge he did not want to participate in the trial, because he said it is unconstitutional.

Picture show in court of Brian Grant (Photo: Hannah Patrick/ WWAY)
Picture shown in court of Brian Grant (Photo: Hannah Patrick/ WWAY)
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Porter is charged with the 2012 murder of Brian Grant.

Porter told the judge can take it up with Congress as he walked out of the court room.

After he walked out, opening statements began from the state.



The first witness called to the stand was Dawn McDowell. She was Brian Grant’s sister.

She said the day of Grant’s death she was walking in the park with a friend. She said when she got back to her car, she had several missed calls and voicemails. She said she called her brother Thomas, because someone told her Grant had been shot.

“Is he okay?” McDowell asked Thomas.

McDowell said Thomas was silent, so she asked again.

“You should probably come down here,” Thomas said.

Dawn Grant McDowell is Brian Grant's sister (Photo: Hannah Patrick/ WWAY)
Dawn Grant McDowell is Brian Grant’s sister (Photo: Hannah Patrick/ WWAY)

McDowell said she went to the home and saw multiple ambulances. She said she could hear her sister crying. Then, officials confirmed her brother was dead.

McDowell said her family has had a difficult time. She said it has been hard to see how Grant’s death has affected her parts. McDowell was very emotional throughout her testimony.

Grant’s girlfriend, Ebony Hines, took the stand next.

Hines says Porter lived across the street from her when they were teenagers.

She said one day Porter came over and was talking to her. She said Brian was there. She said there was an awkward look Porter gave Grant. She said it was like a jealous look.

Hines said a week before the murder, Porter and Grant got in an argument one night. She said Grant came home upset. She said he left to go to his cousin’s house to cool off. She said she does not know what the fight was about.

Hines said the morning of the murder, she took Grant to work at 5:30 a.m. She said he came home about an hour later, because there was no work for him. He was a long shore man. She said all three of them left at 8:45 a.m. She said  her daughter was still asleep upstairs.. She said she saw Porter standing across the street. She said she made a comment to Grant about Porter.

Ebony Hines testifying (Photo: Hannah Patrick/ WWAY)
Ebony Hines testifying (Photo: Hannah Patrick/ WWAY)

“Do you see him standing over there looking all crazy?” Hines said.

Hines said Grant did not seem to be worried about it. Hines said Grant dropped her off at work and then he was going to go get some balloons for a celebration of life event they were going to, but he forgot his wallet at home. She said he was going to go back to Creekwood to get it.

Next, Hines said she was in a meeting at work and she began getting several phone calls and voicemails. She said someone told her something was not right at her house.

Hines said her cousin drove her back to her house and that is when she found out that Grant had been shot and her daughter was okay. She said her daughters miss Grant. She said she loved Brian and she still misses him.

Next, the state called Gene Marcell and Cpl. Robert Pierce with the Wilmington Police department. They both responded to the crime scene that day.

They state also called Charles Horney. He was an investigator who took pictures at the scene.

They state then called a detective with the DMV. He testified about the vehicle registered to Nashid Porter. The detective said there was a 1993 black Buick LeSabre registered to Porter.

After the lunch break, the state called on William Kelly. He is a pathologist. He performed the autopsy on Grant after his murder.

Kelly said the cause of death was a gunshot to the tip of his nose. Kelly said the bullet went through the top of his spinal cord. Kelly said that kind of wound would have caused Grant to drop instantly. Kelly said Grant would not have been able to walk.

The state then called on Lee Odham with the Wilmington Police Department. The judge heard Odham’s testimony before trial began. 

Wednesday, District Attorney Ben David said he plans to call Nykia Love and Kevin Tulley with WPD. David said then, they will go into the 404 (b) case of Obediah Hester’s death.

Follow WWAY Weekend Anchor Hannah Patrick for live updates from court. Cameras are allowed in the trial starting today.