Slain Detective's Partner Takes the Stand
Posted May 14, 1998
RALEIGH — Kawame Mays could get the death penalty if a jury convicts him of killing Raleigh police Detective Paul Hale and Michael Walker. Today, Hale's partner took the stand.
There were a lot of tears in the courtroom Friday morning, as the only police witness to the shooting of Hale, Detective Pat Niemann, testified in Wake County Superior Court in Raleigh. Although he was very composed, Niemann appeared to be very troubled over the incident.
"At that point, I saw the upper body of the subject in the back seat moving quickly," Niemann said. "And I heard a gun shot."
Niemann testified that they approached the Suzuki Sidekick after seeing Kawame Mays, a man matching the description of Michael Walker's killer.
Both men were wearing Raleigh Police Department caps and identified themselves as officers. Niemann says he stood at the back of the Suzuki while Hale approached the window. Seconds later, Hale had been shot.
"I didn't know if he had been shot, if he had tripped, if he was trying to find cover or what," explained Niemann. "I looked down at him. I had grabbed his shirt. I was just trying to motivate him to get up and move. His eyes were open, and I knew something was wrong."
Right after Hale was shot, Niemann returned fire, shooting Mays in the arm. All of testimony is considered very important as Mays attorneys contend he didn't know the men were police officers.
Niemann testified that officers properly identified themselves, and that they were wearing police baseball hats that cleared read "police" across the front.