Innocence claims denied by the death of Chris Paul’s grandfather

Winston Salem, NC (AP) —The judge denied the innocent allegations of four men convicted of murdering NBA star Chris Paul’s grandfather as a teenager. An important witness withdrew her testimony..

In 2020, the North Carolina Innocence Investigation Commission found sufficient de facto innocent evidence to send the case to a committee of judges in three higher courts.

But on Thursday, after an eight-day hearing in Forsyth County court, a committee of three judges dismissed the allegations of defendants Ray Shawn Banner, Christopher Bryant, Nathaniel Kosen, and German River. Winston-Salem Journal reported..

Nathaniel Jones, 61, died of a heart attack outside Winston-Salem’s home after being detained, beaten and robbed in November 2002. His grandson Paul was an outstanding high school basketball player at the time and is now playing at the Phoenix Suns. ..

Coten and his brother Banner, who were 15 and 14 at the time of Jones’ death, were convicted of a single murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Brian, Triver, and Drell Brayboy (all 15 at the time) were convicted of their second murder and released after serving in prison. Brayboy was deadly stabbed outside Winston Salem Supermarket in 2019.

The man was indicted after several hours of cross-examination by a Winston-Salem police detective, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. According to the newspaper, they were accused of lying to committee staff, committee members, and judges every time they told the detective that they were innocent and had nothing to do with Jones’ death. Told.

In some cases, they said police detectives threatened them with the death penalty. Brian said the detective would point to the place where his arm was, and that would be where the lethal injection needle would go. Brian said a few minutes later he began to involve himself.

There was no conclusive physical evidence linking the man to the crime scene, including fingerprints lifted from Jones’ car. The Commission also conducted a post-conviction DNA test on items from the crime scene, but there was no agreement with the man.

Chris Paul has not made a public statement about the hearing. Robin Paul, his mother, and his aunt Ronda Hairston stood on Wednesday and said they believed the man convicted of Jones’ murder was guilty.

Jessica Black, a teenager when she met the boys two months before Jones’ death, testified that she hung out with them, often smoking marijuana and driving them. Black spoke to police and heard in two trials some of the boys talking about robbing Jones, and she had a picnic table at Bellevue Park about 100 yards (91 meters) from Jones’ house. He testified that he was able to hear Jones screaming during the attack.

Black, now 36, has since withdrawn all of her previous testimony and said in court last week that it was all a lie. She tells her that a police detective forces her to make her false statement and she will go to life imprisonment for her murder if she doesn’t say what she wants to hear. rice field. She was never charged with criminal charges.