Witnesses describe scene after Raleigh ‘hoodlums’ shooting
RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The defense now has the case in the murder trial of a Raleigh homeowner charged with shooting and killing a 20-year-old in front of his home.
Chad Copley, 40, is on trial for murder in the shooting death of 20-year-old Kouren-Rodney Thomas on Aug. 7, 2016.
Copley plans to take the stand and that could happen this week — most likely Tuesday or Wednesday.
On Monday, Copley’s defense attorneys called several witnesses to the stand today to try to prove their client acted in self-defense.
Copley told police he was defending his home and family when he shot Thomas from inside his garage. Thomas, who was leaving a party in Copley’s neighborhood, died as a result of the shooting.
Copley said there were people in his yard yelling profanities and at least one of them showed a weapon.
According to witness testimony so far, police only found one gun that night near the scene.
The gun was in a car near Copley’s home and belonged to one of the individuals who went to the party near Copley’s home.
The car’s owner pleaded the 5th when the defense asked if it was his gun.
“A lot of stuff that was going on [that night],” said Te-Shon Omar Swinson. “People were traumatized from the things they saw, guns being in their face. So I don’t really recall that night.”
One of Swinson’s friends, Justice Evuku, says he was aware the gun was in the car but claimed it never came out of the vehicle that night.
Evuku also testified they clashed with police that night because the officers detained them rather than helping the shooting victim.
“In our opinion, we were watching somebody die and they weren’t even giving him CPR,” said Evuku.
Other first responders called to testify Monday corroborated the claims that it was a chaotic scene after the shooting.
“There was a lot of screaming, yelling, cussing, commotion, basically just a chaotic scene,” one Raleigh senior firefighter testified.
Prosecutors argue that Copley’s life was never in danger.
The prosecution rested its case on Feb. 16 after calling just 10 of its 79 witnesses.
WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:
- 7 HOMES IN RALEIGH’S FIVE POINTS ROBBED BY THIEVES IN RECENT WEEKS
- VIDEO: ‘CRUISE FROM HELL,’ SOME KICKED OFF CARNIVAL SHIP AFTER MASSIVE BRAWLS
- WOMAN CAUGHT BERATING FLIGHT ATTENDANT OVER CRYING BABY IN VIRAL VIDEO PAYS THE PRICE
- 19-YEAR-OLD WOMAN FALLS OFF MOUNTAIN CLIFF AT NC STATE PARK
- RALEIGH MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN ‘HOODLUMS’ SHOOTING COULD TAKE STAND THIS WEEK