Local News

Knightdale father, son plead guilty in shooting death

Posted August 24, 2011 10:25 a.m. EDT

— A Knightdale man pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing a teen last year during an argument with his daughter's ex-boyfriend, and the girl's brother pleaded guilty to trying to cover up the crime.

Rajal Amed Wisdom Sr., 46, of 101 Elmridge Drive, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder. Rajal Amed Wisdom Jr., 23, of the same address, was sentenced to 58 to 79 months in prison for being an accessory after the fact of murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Nigel Ellison, 17, was shot and killed on March 21, 2010, at the intersection of Skycrest Drive and Southall Road in Raleigh.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Latour said Ellison was riding in a car with his friend, Kalife Johnson, and another teen when the Wisdoms chased them down and cut in front of Johnson's car.

Johnson had broken up with Mariah Wisdom, then 17, about two weeks earlier, Latour said, and she told her mother that she feared she was either pregnant or have contracted a sexually transmitted disease from him.

Rajal Wisdom Sr. became infuriated because Johnson wouldn't take any calls from him or his daughter to discuss the situation, Latour said. He broke into Johnson's apartment and smashed his television shortly before the shooting.

When Johnson arrived home, Rajal Wisdom Jr. tried to get him to talk to the family, but Johnson and his two friends drove off, Latour said. The father, son and daughter followed them their SUV and cut them off at Southall Road and Skycrest Drive.

Defense attorney Karl Knudsen, who represented Rajal Wisdom Jr., said one of the teens was shouting at the family that he was a gang member and was armed, but Latour said no weapons were found in Johnson's car.

As the teens fled the car toward some nearby woods, Wisdom Sr. fired a shot that hit Johnson in the arm and then hit Ellison in the side, killing him, Latour said.

The family then drove to a music studio where Rajal Wisdom Jr. records songs under the rap name "Real Dynamite," and he wiped down the SUV and discarded the spent shell casing, Latour said.

The father tried to dispose of the gun in a nearby pond, and both men fled to Georgia, where they were arrested four days later, Latour said.

Rajal Wisdom Sr. had no intention of hurting anyone, defense attorney Michael Weiss said. He only wanted to talk to Johnson about "doing the right thing" if his daughter was pregnant, Weiss said.

"He's nothing but sorry," Weiss told Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith and members of Ellison's family.

As part of a plea agreement, a murder charge against Mariah Wisdom was dismissed.