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Knightdale woman a witness, not criminal, attorney says

Posted August 26, 2010

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— A 17-year-old Knightdale woman is a witness to a fatal shooting in March and shouldn’t be charged in the case along with her brother and father, her attorney told a judge Thursday in Wake County.

Mariah Wisdom, her brother, Rajal Amed Wisdom Jr., 22, and her father, Rajal Amed Wisdom Sr., 45, all of 101 Elmridge Drive all face charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Nigel J. Ellison, 18, on March 21.

Ellison was in a car with Kalife I. Johnson, 19, when the shooting occurred at the intersection of Skycrest Drive and Southall Road in Raleigh.

Ellison was pronounced dead at WakeMed, authorities said. Johnson was treated and released.

In court Thursday, attorney James Crouch said Johnson was Mariah Wisdom’s boyfriend and that Ellison was shot by mistake.

Rajal Amed Wisdom Sr. may have believed his daughter was pregnant by Johnson, Crouch said.

Crouch said Mariah Wisdom can tie all of the loose ends together in the case and explain what really happened. She described how her client watched her brother give a gun to her father, who did the shooting.

"She had no idea the gun was in the car," Crouch said. "I feel like she should not be where she is right now."

Bond was set at $10,000 for Mariah Wisdom. Prosecutors said they would consider asking for the death penalty against Rajal Amed Wisdom Sr.

The next hearing in the case was set for Dec. 13.


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  • CarolinianByChoice Aug 27, 2010

    Ajeralddavis: It seems you are mourning the loss of Nigel Ellison. Please accept my condolences.

    You made accusations not reported here. The story doesn’t say Mariah claimed rape. It DOES say Rajal thought her pregnant by Johnson. If she didn’t know a gun was in the car how could she know her Dad would shoot? It is irrational to kill the father of your child's unborn baby instead of ensuring he accepts his responsibilities.

    Wisdom Sr has a 1995 manslaughter conviction; details are scarce except the charge was reduced from murder. Rajal Jr shouldn't have had a gun accessible to a convicted felon.

    Daughters will always be wont to believe the best of their Dads. At 17 years old it is expected she would not believe her Dad capable of something so heinous.

    It is truly sad anyone thought a gun was needed to deal with the situation; now an innocent young person is dead. This tragedy has had horrendous consequences that have rippled through the community.

  • ccs1920 Aug 27, 2010

    wildcat/ You seem to know more than the rest of us. How about shareing some facts about this case.

  • wildcat Aug 27, 2010

    The girl is innocent. PERIOD!

  • ajeralddavis Aug 26, 2010

    That's crazy! This girl knew what her father was capable of and yet chose to lie to him about how things came about. This is said but she is just as much part of the problem as the dad and the brother. Then to say oh Ellison wasnt meant to shot, he is dead till that to his mother, father and friends that are having too deal with this ordeal. I know putting them to death wont bring him back but it would be justice served. As for the daughter, sit in there so that next time you decide to say someone raped you and didnt you would know what the consequences are ahead of time.

  • wildcat Aug 26, 2010

    The father and son should be charged. The girl was simply a witness to this murder.

  • usmcasa Aug 26, 2010

    i would say they aren't very wise