Local News

Jury selection begins in Raleigh man's stabbing death

Posted August 5, 2013
Updated August 14, 2013

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Twelve jurors and one alternate were chosen Monday in the murder trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing another man who had stopped to help a wrecked SUV on a northeast Raleigh road more than a year ago.

Attorneys, however, must still choose two more alternate jurors before opening statements in the case of Samuel Gideon, one of two men charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 15, 2012, death of Eleazar Brache Herrera, 20.

Herrera was with his cousins on their way home the morning of the crime when they noticed the GMC Envoy crashed in the 2900 block of New Hope Road.

When they pulled over, police have said, there was some kind of argument and Herrera was stabbed.

"That's probably what I think about the most – how he felt at that moment – him losing his life," Herrera's brother, Manuel Herrera, said Monday.

Gideon and Christopher Todd Rochelle were arrested June 29, 2012, more than six months after the stabbing.

Manuel Herrera was among a group of about 40 to 50 people wearing burgundy in Herrera's memory to show up at the Wake County Justice Center for the start of Gideon's trial – so many that the court had to ask some to leave to make room for the jury pool.

He called the start of the trial the beginning of justice for his brother and said he hopes it will help him and other family and friends better understand why the crime happened.

Samuel Gideon Trial underway in Raleigh man's stabbing death

"It's still very hard for us, because it's confusing. There's no reason," Manuel Herrera said. "To me, (Gideon) doesn't deserve to see a day of light. He should be in jail for the rest of his life."

Eleazar Herrera's childhood friend, Elba Rogers, was also among the sea of burgundy in court Monday.

"How do you kill an innocent person – a person that doesn't do drugs, isn't looking for trouble, isn't in gangs?" Rogers said. "To this day, I'm still in a sense of shock."

Police have never offered a motive for the crime or said why Gideon and Rochelle were at the wreck site when Eleazar Herrera and his cousins arrived around 5 a.m. that day.

The Envoy, investigators said early in the case, had been stolen during a home invasion a quarter-mile away, and the men who allegedly stole it had left the scene by the time Eleazar Herrera arrived.

"Basically, he stopped to help and ended up being at the wrong place at the wrong time," Manuel Herrera said.

Gideon's mother and sister, who declined to give their names, said Monday that Eleazar Herrera was not an innocent victim and that Gideon is not the horrible person they believe the media has portrayed him to be.

As the trial goes on, the details of that morning will become clear, they said, but they refused to elaborate.

Gideon's trial is expected to last several weeks. A trial date for Rochelle has not been set.

7 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • sky15thelimit Aug 6, 2013

    Correction, the first time Herrera drove by the accused were not on the scene. But, I do not believe that you drive past an accident and for some unknown reason return with more people. Why would swine do that? Could of been that the armed robbers driving erradically almost hit Herrera and party's vehicle and when Herrera returned with more people, the only people standing there was the accused? What could of possibly happened to make 5 guys jump on two at the scene of a car accident that didn't involve them? Look objectively and not at the criminal records as the perception of character is not on trial here.

  • sky15thelimit Aug 6, 2013

    Regardless of the past which mostly happened in their twenties. Something doesn't add up. The two accused lived near the scene and were on the scene before the good smaritans. Early reports have the party of the deceased driving by, dropping someone of and then coming back. If the two accused were on the scene first and they lived up the street. Weren't they the good smaritans? And who in their right mind is not going to defend themselves against 5 guys when one is out of commission on the ground getting stomped out? So that is 1 on 5. Basically, you don't just leave your house, wait next to a vacant car wrecked car, and stab the first person that comes asking questions. The LIKELY scenario is that the guys in the car yelled something as they passed by, dropped off whoever and returned with 5 guys (that is in initial reports, that they drove past and returned a few minutes later). The accused were MISTAKEN as occupants of the car and a confrontation ensued.

  • kateyezkateyez Aug 5, 2013

    The two said Herrera is not an innocent victim....

    Wait till a jury hears they are blaming the dead victim, that never goes over well.

  • Frank Downtown Aug 5, 2013

    Gangs aren't good for anything.

  • westernwake1 Aug 5, 2013

    "Gideon's mother and sister, who declined to give their names, said Monday that they are upset with the media and believe it has unfairly sided with Herrera's family.

    The two said Herrera is not an innocent victim and that Gideon is not a horrible person. As trial goes on, they said, the details of that night will become clear. But they refused to elaborate."

    Yeah... well then how do you explain Gideon's long history of crime including assaults.

  • golorealist Aug 5, 2013

    "Gideon's mother and sister, who declined to give their names, said Monday that they are upset with the media and believe it has unfairly sided with Herrera's family.

    The two said Herrera is not an innocent victim and that Gideon is not a horrible person. As trial goes on, they said, the details of that night will become clear. But they refused to elaborate."

    unless gideon and rochelle have a valid claim of self defense, there's not much confusion...murder is murder.

  • Backtothemountains Aug 5, 2013

    Yea sure that's why Herrera has no prior convictions except for a failure to appear in 2010...BUT Gideon has priors for possession of stolen goods (multiple times), assaulting a female, speeding from an officer, resisting an officer, receiving stolen goods (multiple times), driving w/license evoked, etc since 1998. And the other one, Rochelle also has multiple possession of stolen goods, assault on a female, common law robbery, drug possession, simple assault,driving with license revoked, resisting officer, etc.