LUMBERTON — A man who was convicted of attempted murder on Friday and his fiancee have been charged with trying to pay a juror to return a verdict of not guilty.
According to Erich Hackney, an investigator with the District Attorney’s Office, Damion McCormick, 25, and Shaquita Sherrell Turner, 25, of Fairmont, are charged with interfering with a juror, conspiracy to interfere with a juror and obstruction of justice.
On Friday night, a jury that was working late found McCormick guilty of those crimes and sentenced by Superior Court Judge J. Gregory Bell to eight years in prison. Hackney said McCormick was taken to the Sheriff’s Office, where he was uncooperative and refused to be processed by Hackney. His bond was then set at $250,000 on the new charges.
According to Hackney, on Tuesday night McCormick called Turner, his fiancee and the mother of one of his children, and asked her to contact juror No. 1 whom McCormick and Turner knew through family members. Hackney said that Turner sent a text to the juror and asked her to “spare favor on my fiance.” On Wednesday morning, Turner spoke with the juror by phone and asked her to “spare some favor” toward McCormick by rendering a not guilty vote in exchange for money, according to Hackney.
The juror informed the court of what had happened, according to Hackney, and Bell asked Hackney to conduct an investigation. Juror No. 1 was excused from duty.
Turner was then arrested and jailed under a $100,000 bond.
McCormick was arrested in March 2014 and charged with an attempted murder that had occurred in February of that year.
A Lumberton police officer stopped a vehicle at East Fifth Street and Old Whiteville Road and “smelled an odor of marijuana in the vehicle,” police Maj. Tommy Barnes said at the time. McCormick, who was 22 and a passenger in the vehicle, jumped from the vehicle and fled, tossing away a .38-caliber revolver. He was quickly chased down and arrested.
Police then found that McCormick, whose address was listed as Oxford Road, Rowland, was wanted for shooting William Washington on Feb. 20, 2014, at Washington’s home on N.C. 211 East in Lumberton. A sheriff’s report said that McCormick’s mother and others were inside the home eating when McCormick knocked on the door. Washington told him to come into the kitchen to talk and then the two went out on the back porch. An argument followed and Washington was shot.
McCormick was charged by Lumberton police with carrying a concealed weapon, resisting an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was then turned over to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, which charged him with attempted first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault with intent to kill inflicting serious injuries.
Donnie Douglas can be reached at 910-415-5649 or at [email protected]