CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - After four and half of days of presenting evidence and questioning witnesses, prosecutors in the Rayquan Borum murder trial rested its case late Monday afternoon..
Prosecutors say Borum was aiming for police during the Charlotte riots in 2016 when the bullet hit 26 year old Justin Carr, who attended the peaceful protests and was on his way to get his car to go to work.
Defense attorneys made a motion to dismiss the first degree murder charge against Borum, saying prosecutors didn’t establish the elements needed to prove first degree murder.
Prosecutor say they did fulfill malice aforethought, premeditation deliberation, and specific intent to shoot at officers. They say that intent was transferred when the bullet hit Carr.
The judge denied the defense's motion.
Defense attorneys are scheduled to begin presenting their case Tuesday morning and will make it known at that time if they intend to call witnesses.
The prosecution’s last witness was a forensic pathologist and Medical Examiner for Mecklenburg County testified that Carr died from a gunshot wound to his head.
Dr James Lozano told jurors that an autopsy examination revealed the bullet entered Carr’s skull on the left side just above his ear and exited on the right forehead. He testified that no projectile or fragments were found inside Carr’s skull – meaning the bullet entered and exited.
Dr. Lozano said an x-ray showed “a minute fragment of material in the scalp too small to recover.”
When Assistant District Attorney Glenn Cole asked “would that minute particle have any forensic value?” Dr Lozano responded “no.”
Cole asked, “Does this change your opinion that this was a gunshot wound Justin suffered?” and Dr Lozano said “no.”
Lozano said the gunshot that Carr suffered” did not cause instantaneous death” but that “it would have immediate incapacitation, immediately unconscious.”
After Borum was arrested for the fatal shooting, detectives questioned him at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Law Enforcement Center.
The day started out with prosecutors showing jurors a video of the police questioning.
Detectives could be heard in the video telling Borum that if the shooting was an accident because he fired the gun to clear the crowd then Borum could work through it and tell them what happened. An investigator testified that detectives gave Borum the story of the shooting being an accident as a tactic to get him to start opening up to them. At one point in the interrogation, Borum said “need an attorney.”
After Borum requested an attorney, he told detectives to come back in the room in five minutes. When detectives returned, Borum began answering questions and told investigators “nobody was the target.”
Detectives also asked what happened to the gun after the shooting. Detective Franchot Pack told jurors that Borum said “he broke into pieces and threw it out the car.”
Police say they didn’t do any DNA testing on the 9mm spent shell casing found at the scene and when defense attorneys asked why didn’t police check officers weapons to see if any rounds were fired, Detective Pack said from information they had received it was not an officer involved shooting.
When defense attorney Darlene Harris told Detective Pack “the only person who said they saw Borum fired the weapon that killed Justin Carr was Kendell Bowden” (Borum’s acquaintance who is a serving a federal prison sentence and who testified that he was with Borum during the second night of the riots), Detective Pack answered “correct.”
Jurors also heard recordings of phone calls Borum made from jail, telling acquaintances “it’s over for me” and that police told him they have surveillance video of him shooting the gun.