First Posted: 1/15/2009
Daughter watched father killed
LUMBERTON -- The daughter of Marshall McRae testified on Wednesday that she saw her father shot to death in the front yard of their home.
Deanna McRae was one of two people to testify Wednesday who said they saw brothers Charles and Richard Campbell, on trial for first-degree murder, shoot and kill 43-year-old Marshall McRae on Feb. 12, 1999. James Walker, a cousin of the Campbells, also said he witnessed the brothers kill McRae.
Deanna McRae, 20, calmly told the jury that she saw Charles, Richard and Timothy Campbell point their guns and shoot her father as she sat in the family Jeep with her 5-year-old brother. She said she heard at least four or five gunshots.
“They started shooting, my father turned around and that's when his body fell,” Deanna said.
Deanna McRae said that before Charles Campbell shot her father, he had forced his way into the passenger's side of the Jeep with a gun and hand grenade.
“He said, 'I'm going to kill you and your brother,” Deanna McRae said.
She said her father, who was standing next to the Jeep, began running. The three men followed, firing their guns.
Deanna McRae said she then ran to a neighbor's house and called 911.
She testified that she had her learner's permit and was about to go driving with her father when a black Yukon and Chevrolet Monte Carlo pulled up behind the family Jeep in the driveway.
She said four of the five men who got out of the vehicles were armed. She said that Timothy Campbell yelled for no one to move and repeatedly asked where his “papers” were. She said her father told them that he didn't know what he was talking about and then began running.
Timothy Campbell is also charged with first-degree murder in McRae's death, but will be tried later.
Deanna McRae was expected to continue her testimony this morning.
Earlier Wednesday, Walker testified, but he said only two of the Campbells fired shots.
“McRae ran across a grassy area and that's when Charles and Richard shot him,” Walker said.
Walker, 37, is also charged with murder, but agreed to testify for the prosecution in exchange for the possibility of having that charge dismissed.
Walker also identified the fifth man as Gailon Leak. He said Leak was armed but did not fire his weapon.
Walker testified that that he was with the four men when they committed an armed robbery at the home of Henry McRae earlier that day. Henry McRae is not related to Marshall McRae.
He said that the three Campbells entered Henry McRae's home on Daniel McLeod Road and that he heard screaming and gunshots. Walker said he and Leak stayed with the cars, and that Leak acted as the lookout.
Charles and Richard Campbell are charged with an armed robbery at Henry McRae's house.
During cross-examination by defense lawyer Sue Berry, Walker repeatedly denied that the Campbells worked for him in a drug-selling business. Walker also denied killing Marshall McRae.
During cross examination by defense lawyer John Campbell, Walker said he never saw McRae with a .380-caliber handgun. Previous testimony showed that a .380-caliber handgun was found a few feet from McRae's body.
Walker testified that he's afraid of Charles Campbell, saying Campbell had threatened to beat him while they were being held together at the Robeson County jail. Walker requested a transfer, and is being held in the Scotland County jail.
Berry asked Walker why he didn't report any of the crimes.
“I was to afraid to tell anybody what I saw, they're my family,” Walker said.
Walker acknowledged he has been convicted of felony possession of a firearm in New York City.
Before testimony began Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Gary Trawick found a male juror in contempt of court.
That came after the juror told Trawick he had been working late in the night and was sleep-deprived and found it difficult to pay attention to the testimony. Trawick ordered that the juror not be paid for jury duty.
An alternate took the juror's place.