Rayquan Borum Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder in Fatal Shooting During Charlotte Riots in 2016

 From http://www.wbtv.com, March 8, 2018

The man accused in a deadly shooting during the 2016 riots in Charlotte was found guilty of second-degree murder in court Friday.

“I realize this is a tense, emotional time… I won’t put up with an outburst of any kind,” the judge warned as the jury was brought back into the room. “You will be summarily removed.”

Deputies were positioned around the courtroom as the verdict was read – guilty of second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. The verdict was unanimous.

Rayquan Borum was on trial for first-degree murder in the shooting of Justin Carr, who died when demonstrators took to the streets to protest the officer-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Police say when a crowd gathered in front of the Omni Hotel, Carr was fatally wounded.

Carr’s mother made a statement after the verdict was read.

“Just want to say the whole time, I felt like my son was lost in this, [and] the trial was made about the defendant,” Vivian Carr said, adding that her “son went down to for a purpose” and her “grandson will never meet his father.”

The judge asked Borum if he had a statement before his sentencing. Borum remained silent.

Borum was then sentenced to serve two consecutive sentences: 276-344 months (23-28.6 years) on the second-degree murder charge and 14-26 months (2.17 years) on the firearm charge. He will get credit for the 896 days he was behind bars before the trial.

Police arrested Borum shortly after the uptown shooting and charged him with first-degree murder and felon in possession of a firearm.

One of the elements of first-degree murder is intent. Prosecutors had to prove Borum was intending to kill. Prosecutors say Borum was aiming for police, who were trying to move the crowd back from the Omni Hotel, but the bullet hit Carr.

The state said just because Carr was the one who was fatally wounded instead of a police officer doesn’t mean intent goes away – it just transfers.

With less than an hour before the first full day of deliberations ended Thursday, jurors in the Rayquan Borum murder trial had a question for the judge.

“The question reads is ‘there a legal criteria for engaging in a riot or are you inherently engaged by virtue of being there?’” Judge Gregory Hayes read from a note the jury sent him.

The judge told them “the state must prove the defendant willfully engaged in riot and willfully is intentionally and without justification or excuse.”

Eight women and four men began deliberating Wednesday afternoon. Within an hour of deliberating, jurors had two questions. The first one was about evidence.

“It says photos, voice calls, and videos” said Judge Gregory Hayes as he read from the note jurors sent him.

Jurors told the judge they wanted to see most of the 124 pieces of evidence prosecutors presented. They requested all photos, and asked for transcripts of videos of interviews Charlotte Mecklenburg Police conducted with two witnesses.

One of the witnesses was a reporter who was covering the riots, and was at the scene when the shooting happened and called 911.

The second transcript that jurors asked to review was from the man who was with Borum the night of the shooting and said he saw Borum shoot. The jury also asked for transcripts of phone calls.

About 15 minutes later, the jury had a second question. They asked the judge for the definition of possession. The other charge Borum is facing is possession of firearm by felon.

Before deliberations began, each side had a chance to talk to the jury one last time to argue their case and try to persuade jurors.

“You’ve seen the evidence,” said Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Desmond McCallum, as he asked the jury to apply the facts to the law and told them there’s “only one verdict – guilty.”

Prosecutors painted the picture of a night with two faces. There was the face of Justin Carr and peaceful protesters making a statement about a police shooting. Then ADA McCallum turned to the other side of the night when he said Rayquan Borum took part in mayhem and looting and incited violence against police.

“Grip a glock, shoot back” McCallum said that’s what Borum was chanting in a video played for jurors.

“That tells what his intention was – this is shoot back. He’s telling you what he wants,” said McCallum and reminded jurors of the videos and screen shots that showed what investigators say is Borum firing the gun outside the Omni Hotel. Prosecutors contend he was aiming for police.

“Once that bullet left it doesn’t have a name” McCallum said.

The prosecution said when police questioned Borum after he was arrested, he told investigators that he broke up the gun and threw it out of the window. Detectives say when they searched the house where Borum lived, they found 9mm bullets similar to the spent shell casing found at the scene. And then there were the phone calls that Borum made from jail. The prosecutor told jurors – put the evidence together.

McCallum told jurors there’s nothing he could say that would bring Justin Carr back.

“Only thing that can be done is justice,” he said. “Hold that man accountable…hold him accountable for first degree murder.”

“The state hasn’t proven anything. The state hasn’t proven my client shot Justin Carr” said defense attorney Mark Simmons.

Simmons told jurors that detectives didn’t do a thorough investigation and didn’t test the shell casing found at the scene that he says was left unsecure for hours. The defense says CMPD didn’t want answers. They wanted to make an arrest.

“What police officer was Mr Borum trying to shoot,” asked Simmons. He told jurors there was a concrete wall separating Borum from police.

“If you believe Mr. Borum was shooting at all – how in the world did he intend to kill a police officer if there was a concrete barrier between him and all the police officers?”

Borum made a threat on a judge using someone else’s personal identification number, prosecutors said last week.

The prosecution said Borum seemed to be looking for a magical remedy to his circumstances in making multiple calls to his mother using another inmates ID number and trying to raise some money.

“To pay a voodoo healer in Raleigh in order to obtain that practitioners services,” said the prosecution.

The judge says when he first heard the call he was concerned for his family’s safety, but following an investigation, that was no longer a concern.

“I am now completely able to fairly and partially and ethically preside over this trial,” said Judge Hayes.

A lot of what happened the night of the shooting was captured on video, which prosecutors used to take jurors back to the moment.

A man who said he was working as a news correspondent making documentaries testified he was at the front line following and covering protesters and was outside the Omni Hotel when Justin Carr was shot.

“After I saw Justin – God rest his soul bleeding out on the ground you can see the blood – so the people started yelling at the officers come and get him, y’all gotta come and help him… four or five officers came out,” Rasheed Ali said. Testimony from police helped jurors go behind the police line.

A forensic pathologist and Medical Examiner for Mecklenburg County testified that Carr died from a gunshot wound to his head.

After Borum was arrested for the fatal shooting, detectives questioned him at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Law Enforcement Center.


Published in: on March 10, 2019 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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