Local News

Witnesses recount alleged details of Wendell woman's death

Posted July 1, 2008
Updated July 2, 2008

— Two defendants charged in connection with the death of a Wendell woman more than a year ago testified Tuesday that they feared for their lives when they helped clean up the crime scene.

Jamie Russell Holder said that Jakiem Lance Wilson "would kill him, too" if he did not help cover up evidence in the stabbing death of Wilson's wife, Nneka Wilson, 24.

Holder also testified that he and Roderick Ryan Howell – both charged with accessory after the fact to murder – helped Wilson trash his house to make it appear as if Nneka Wilson was the victim of a gang killing.

She was found inside her 6637 Eagles Crossing Drive home on Tuesday Feb. 13, 2007. and had been dead for up to 16 hours before her husband called 911, authorities said.

Both witnesses said Wilson said he killed his wife while she was getting out of the shower.

He initially told investigators he was in Selma when his wife was killed and that he found her on the kitchen floor along with a threatening message scrawled in blood.

Holder testified he was the one who wrote that message, which suggested Jakiem Wilson would be killed next.

Holder said Wilson also told him prior to the killing that Nneka Wilson "was getting on his nerves" and that he was thinking about killing her because she was "nagging" him about a Myspace page and if he as chatting online with women.

Tuesday marked the second day of Wilson's capital murder trial and included graphic testimony from both Holder and Howell – some that prompted the victims' parents to leave the courtroom.

Nneka Wilson's mother, Claudette Sutton Hill, broke down during Holder's testimony Tuesday morning; her stepfather, James Hill, had to be restrained later in the day when Howell demonstrated how, he said, Wilson tried to cut off her neck.

Howell also testified that Wilson had called him on Feb. 12, asking if he would kill Nneka Wilson. He said Wilson called him back a short time later, and that's when he said he heard Nneka Wilson's last grasps of life on the other end of the phone.

"He told me to 'listen to this,' and I heard gasping," Howell said. Then, he recalled Wilson saying, 'It's done. It's done."

An autopsy found that Nneka Wilson died from multiple stab wounds to her jugular vein, lung and heart, and it noted she had defensive wounds on her forearms.

Holder said earlier Tuesday that Wilson acted as though "he didn't care" and at one point stepped on his dead wife's back and called her a derogatory term.

During cross-examination, Wilson's attorney, Amos Tyndall, said Holder's story has repeatedly changed and that he has stated before that he would do "whatever he could to get out of jail."

Last month, Wilson claimed responsibility for his wife's death but said it did not constitute first-degree murder.

Defense attorneys on Monday asked that Wilson's statements to investigators be suppressed, but Superior Court Judge Henry Hight denied the motion.

Hight, however, did throw out evidence –including two hatchets, a sword and a bow and arrow – seized with a search warrant that lacked probable cause. The warrant's affidavit, he ruled, contained no facts that a crime had been committed.


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  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 2, 2008

    Give this young lady did not even stand a chance, not even in her own home of safety. I say, give the husband life in prison without ever having parole. The other two should get 50 years for stupidy. They should have never gotten involved in the husband's mess. Know who you friends are and who you can really trust. A good friend would not ask you to take part in a murder. A scum-bag on the otherhand would.

  • bronzegoddess40 Jul 1, 2008

    Thug life, if we could just understand other cultures better.

    This has nothing to do with understanding cultures, men of all races and cultures have killed their wives and girlfriends. They are just heinous criminals with no regard to anyone lives whether they are married to them or not.

  • bluewind Jul 1, 2008

    If is found guilty, the ony JUSTICE for this woman and her family is an immediate execution. What a sick, EVIL person. Holy Mary, pray for her....

  • annemarek Jul 1, 2008

    I do not understand why some people oppose the death penalty. Yes, there are some that are wrongfully found guilty, but these are very few. But in cases where there is absolute evidence involving the person in a horrendous crime, I say go for the death penalty. The prison system is too liberal making life in prison comfortable costing the tax payers millions of dollars. The Death Penalty is a validation for LIFE.

  • Just the facts mam Jul 1, 2008

    I am sorry to see that it appears like it is the same type of person over and over committing these types of crimes. How someone can be so callous is beyond my comprehension. Pray for the family.

  • wcnc Jul 1, 2008

    In my reading of the warrant, it was specific. It said the crime was a homicide. It said they responded to a deceased person call. It said there was a female body on the floor. All of those things tell me that the body was deceased, or else there is no homicide to investigate. Obviously the judge doesn't think that logically. WHoever approved the warrant- judge or magistrate- thought it was clear enough!!

    Regardless, I don't know that it will really effect the case at all with accomplices who are testifying to what the defendant said and did!!! It seems like 1st Degree to me!!

  • ctechic2004 Jul 1, 2008

    wcnc-in the search warrant it said that the deputy found a lady on the floor. It did not say she was dead or how she died. The search warrant has to be specific.

  • Banker Mommy Jul 1, 2008

    Ordinary Citizen,
    I totally agree. From what I have heard, this guy was a gangbanger himself. He doesn't have anything to be afraid of in prison, and will get to spend his days doing nothing but hanging out with his thug friends. What kind of punishment is that?

  • whatusay Jul 1, 2008

    Why is Mr Holder being charged with accessory after the fact when "Hero James Johnson" in Wilson, NC did the same exact thing in the Brittany Willis case, and is having all charges dropped because the NAACP ridiculed the DA, and Wilson police.

  • CestLaVie Jul 1, 2008

    "What is in these peoples heads?"