New trial ordered for man convicted of killing woman and her unborn child in Wilmington motel

Tevin Vann in court in 2016 (Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The NC Court of appeals has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of killing a woman and her unborn child in a Wilmington motel.

The Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday that Tevin Demetrius Vann was entitled to a new trial involving the death of Ashley McLean.

McLean, 21, of Lillington, was found by a housekeeper at the Best Western on Market Street in August of 2016.

He went to trial in 2019 and was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon. During the trial, Vann admitted to prosecutors that he met McLean at the hotel and paid for sexual services.

He was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Vann appealed the ruling.

The court says the trial judge erred when he declined to provide deliberating jurors the chance to review trial testimony, particularly of the defendant.

According to the opinion of the court, on several occasions during deliberations the jury asked to review evidence from the trial. On one such occasion, the jury asked to review the testimony given at trial from a Wilmington Police Department Detective, defendant, the medical examiner, and to review the medical examiner’s report.

The trial court provided the jury with copies of the medical examiner’s report, but with regards to the requested testimony responded “it’s your duty to recall their testimony. So you will have to remember that. We’re not – we can’t provide a transcript as to that.”

The court concluded the trial court erred in not exercising its discretion when considering the jury’s request to review testimony and that that error was prejudicial.

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