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Durham man's trial turns on question: Who fired the gun?

Posted August 3, 2015
Updated August 4, 2015

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— Three years after a Durham police officer was shot in the leg during a traffic stop, the man accused of injuring him is sticking to the story that the officer's wound was self-inflicted.

The trial of Carlos Riley Jr. began Monday with his defense attorney asserting that during that during that traffic stop on Forest Road in December 2012 Investigator Kelly Stewart shot himself.

Riley faces charges of reckless driving, assault on a law enforcement officer causing serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm.

Lawyers on the two sides presented two very different versions of that traffic stop.

Riley's attorney, Alex Charns, said that his client feared for his life and was trying to protect himself from the officer.

"He took action to prevent himself from dying so he could make it to Christmas," Charns said of Riley.

Prosecutor Stormy Ellis said it was Riley who shot Stewart, and she called the investigator as her first witness.

Using a map to help illustrate, Stewart re-enacted the incident with a chair. He said a routine traffic stop spiraled out of control when Riley tried to drive off and Stewart tried to stop him.

"He's punching me. I'm punching him. We're going blow for blow," Stewart said.

Eventually, Stewart pulled his gun, and, he said, the two men struggled for control.

"What happened in that vehicle only two people know," Ellis said, reminding jurors that it is their job to determine which story to believe.

5 Comments

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  • Kimberly Crowe Aug 4, 2015
    user avatar

    Yes, John Jones black lives do matter and all lives matter no matter of the race. Also, Sean Greasy the media is starting the race war and their the one that keeps stating "WHITE COP KILLED BLACK MAN." The media not stating white guy kills a lot of people in theater shooting. I'm more afraid of your people than my own. At least I know my own people is killing themselves or own kind. White people go and shoot up malls, theaters, restaurants, etc.

  • Jason Starcommand Aug 4, 2015
    user avatar

    Black-on-black crime. Nothing to see here, folks... Move along....

  • Sean Creasy Aug 4, 2015
    user avatar

    So why aren't the races of the two individuals involved here prominently displayed in the headlines like the trial of the officer in Charlotte?

  • Dean Morron Aug 4, 2015
    user avatar

    Don't ALL lives matter ?

    For those so intent on disarming the general public I'd like to bring one fact about this story to light : " robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon."
    So, a convicted felon is NOT supposed to possess a gun, but yet he does …. why, because he could care less about any laws, after all, those laws are for law abiding citizens ….. something a criminal considers to be their " PREY "

  • John Jones Aug 3, 2015
    user avatar

    black lives matter