Local News

Prosecution focuses on accused man's cellphone in Durham officer's shooting trial

Posted August 7, 2015 6:13 p.m. EDT

— As prosecutors wind down their case against a man accused of shooting a Durham police officer three years ago, the focus shifted Friday to the man's cellphone.

Officer Kelly Stewart was shot in the thigh during a confrontation with Carlos Riley Jr. following a December 2012 traffic stop. Riley claims Stewart shot himself during a struggle.

Officer William McFadden, a digital forensic specialist, testified Friday that, one minute after the shooting, someone made a 37-second call from Riley's cellphone. About 20 minutes later, McFadden said, Riley started receiving a series of text messages.

"Run towards kelly house run threw da woods hurry," read one message.

"Stop makin calls," read another.

"Take ya battery out delete all text," read a third. "if ya turn yaself n go wit po or sumthin dey might shoot ya"

Riley was arrested about three hours after the shooting, following a citywide manhunt.

Prosecutors could rest as early as Monday, and defense attorney Alex Charns said Friday that he plans to call Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez and City Manager Tom Bonfield as defense witnesses.

Charns said he expects Durham to fight his subpoena of Lopez, but he wants the chief to testify about police department training and bring with him a year's worth of citations issued by Stewart.