DUPLIN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A man who defended himself in his own murder trial in Pender County in 2016 pleaded guilty to killing the star witness in that case.
Duplin County District Attorney Ernie Lee said Porter pleaded guilty to first degree murder in the death of Obediah Hester IV in court Friday.
Hester was the key witness in Grant’s death in 2012. While out on pre-trial release, Porter took off his GPS monitoring bracelet and killed Hester in 2014. The trial was filled with unusual circumstances in 2016. The venue was moved to Pender County. Porter fired multiple public defenders and decided to represent himself.
Porter requested specific religious attire for the trial and then, decided not to sit in court for the entire trial. After a jury found him guilty, Porter chanted in the courtroom as the District Attorney read the victim’s family’s letter and his sentence.
Porter represented himself in the trial, but he was not present for most of the trial. He also tried to avoid the sentencing phase of the trial, but the judge said the law requires a defendant to be present for sentencing.
When bailiffs finally managed to get Porter back into the courtroom, he yelled to Grant’s family that he did not shoot Grant and demanded of District Attorney Ben David to tell him where the gun was. As David tried to read a statement from Grant’s family, Porter sang as bailiffs surrounded him.
Lee said Porter was sentenced to life in prison without parole in court Friday.