Judge allows testimony from witness killed in Nashid Porter trial

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A judge in Pender County is going to allow testimony from a former witness that was killed before trial for a 2012 murder.

Nashid Porter is charged with the 2012 murder of Brian Grant. He is representing himself in this trial.

Before trial begins, the state is filing a motion to use testimony from Obediah Hester. He was killed before trial started. Porter is also charged with his death. The state also wants to tell jurors about Hester’s death in Grant’s trial.

The judge heard most of the testimony the state wants to use two weeks ago. 

Today, a judge heard arguments on that testimony from both sides to determine if it is admissible.

First, Nashid Porter said he never looked at Obediah Hester’s testimony in court. He said the jury never heard it. Porter says Hester’s testimony is irrelevant to this case. He said the grand jury did not see this evidence. Porter said Hester’s testimony was never brought under oath. Porter also said the state is trying to confuse the jury.

District Attorney Ben David said the testimony from WPD recording Hester’s testimony has been submitted to the court prior to this. David said Hester has testimony about what happened the night before Brian Grant’s murder and the day of after the murder.  David said his testimony is relevant because it shows premeditation. David says this testimony is not unfairly prejudicial.

“David is trying to use all these theories to defy my character in front of all these media,” Porter said. “They searched my house, my back yard, 14 acres. They didn’t find any firearms.”

David said Porter’s attorney was given a copy of Hester’s interview tape after Hester’s first interview and his second interview. David said Porter was not being genuine when he said he has no knowledge of Hester’s testimony. David said Porter was given the tape on September 26, 2012 of Hester’s first interview. David said Hester’s Feb. 20, 2014 re-interview was given to Porter on Feb. 24, 2014.

“Well, Hester didn’t go in front of the grand jury,” Porter said.
Porter continued interrupting the judge and the state several times throughout the hearing.

The judge said he is going to allow the motion from the state to introduce the relevant statements from Hester. The judge said the evidence in regards to Hester’s death will also be allowed with limited purposes to show identity. The judge said it shows guilt and why Patrick Bragg came forward at a later date.

The state called a United States Attorney to address the court before the day ended. Nashid Porter filed a motion earlier in the trial about Habeous Corpus, because he said officials did not track him down legally. The Attorney explained to the court that one of the marshals would be testifying in court. Under Touhy regulations, a federal employee does not have to testify about certain things. That employee must get authorization from their agency to even testify in court.

The attorney said the U.S. marshal can testify about searching Porter’s house and property, but he is not allowed to testify about investigative techniques, GPS, or tracking.

Opening statements will begin Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.

Follow WWAY Weekend Anchor Hannah Patrick @Hannahpatric for live updates from the courtroom. 

Categories: Local, New Hanover, Pender

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