Local News

Knightdale woman a witness, not criminal, attorney says

Posted August 26, 2010 4:37 p.m. EDT
Updated August 26, 2010 5:18 p.m. EDT

— 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.