Local News

Suspect innocent in Raleigh store owner's death, defense says

Posted July 8

— The defense attorney for a man accused of shooting and killing a man at a north Raleigh tobacco store two years ago told jurors Tuesday that ample evidence in the case will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his client is innocent.

Steven Marcel Cooley, 22, is on trial for first-degree murder in the Dec. 2, 2011, death of Majid Mohram, 39, who was shot in the chest during a robbery at M3 Tobacco on Calvary Drive.

Cooley is one of three people charged in the case, but defense attorney Larry Economos said Cooley was in Greenville at the time of the crime and that his co-defendants – Kwamane Monte Everett, 24, and Demario Quentel Williams, 23 – blamed him because he was an outsider to their gang.

Everett and Williams, who are still in jail, have been offered plea deals in exchange for their testimony in the case.

"Mr. Mohram's death a terrible tragedy, but let's not take a terrible tragedy that never should have happened and turn it into a travesty for this young man," Economos said during opening statements.

There was no DNA or fingerprints to connect him to the crime, Economos said, and there was no evidence to connect him to the pistol that killed Morham.

Wake County prosecutor Matt Lively said the state would prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Cooley fired the single gunshot into Morham's chest.

He lay for an hour "drowning in his own blood."

"He died for a cellphone and a wallet," Lively said. "That's it."

7 Comments

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  • itsnotmeiswear Jul 9, 8:06 a.m.

    The police were looking for two. I don't see but two in the video. Now, they have three in custody, and the two gang members were given deals to testify against the third. Am I missing something about the math?

  • KnowsItAll Jul 8, 6:58 p.m.

    very well put Eliteone. I agree 100%

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Jul 8, 4:17 p.m.

    @eliteone, I second that emotion.

  • aprilhunter220 Jul 8, 3:51 p.m.

    I would be more shocked to read that he was admitting quilt. You do the crime you do the time.

  • westernwake1 Jul 8, 2:28 p.m.

    "Kwamane Monte Everett, 24, and Demario Quentel Williams, 23 – blamed him because he was an outsider to their gang."

    More like that Cooley is the shooter who was trying to join the gang by going through the initiation of deliberately shooting Morham in the chest.

  • 678devilish Jul 8, 2:27 p.m.

    I am wondering how many parents are actually teaching their young children the bible verse, " Thou shall not kill." Many today as teenagers or young, 20's to 30's up don't respect human life. There is consequences when you take a life.

  • disgusted2010 Jul 8, 2:17 p.m.

    Hmmmmmmm. Me needs to see some evidence put forth by the state. Having dealt first hand with the... View More

    — Posted by less_govt_is_better_govt

    What, did they convict you? Your hatred of law enforcement rivals Super Hans hatred of guns.