Witness in upcoming murder trial killed in Duplin County

Witness in upcoming murder trial killed in Duplin County
Niki Breedlove (Source: Duplin County Sheriff's Office)
Niki Breedlove (Source: Duplin County Sheriff's Office)

DUPLIN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Officials with the Duplin County Sheriff's Office are investigating the murder of a Wilmington man Wednesday night. Court documents show the victim was named a prosecution witness in the upcoming murder trial of Nashid Porter.

According to Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace, Obediah Hester IV, 27, was taken to an area in between Wallace and Harrells and killed execution-style. He was found outside of an abandoned mobile home.

Officials have put out a warrant for the arrest of Porter, 36, for Hester's murder.

Sheriff Wallace said Porter reportedly asked Hester to come by his house after work. Hester worked at a poultry factory in Wallace.

He allegedly drove to work with two men also from Wilmington. When the three men got to Porter's home in Duplin, they allegedly drove to another location. The sheriff said that's when Hester's two co-workers said Porter fired several shots at Hester.

The sheriff said the two co-workers then left the scene and reported the shooting to authorities


Porter is also charged with a murder from July of 2012 in New Hanover County.

After being on the run for about a month, U.S Marshall's tracked down Porter. He was arrested for reportedly killing Brian Grant, 32, in Creekwood on July 27, 2012.

Grant was found shot to death lying in the doorway of an apartment. At the time eye-witnesses said the gunman got out of his car, walked up to Grant and shot him twice before “skipping” away from the crime scene into his car.

That trial was scheduled to begin in January. Court documents reveal Hester was one of three people named as prosecution witnesses in the upcoming first degree murder trial.

According to investigators notes, also located in court documents, Hester had told police he got a phone call from Porter the night of Grant's murder and that Porter seemed to be in a hurry and needed to get on the road to Raleigh. Notes also show, Hester told police he heard Grant and Porter had gotten in a verbal fight over a girl and that Hester told police he had seen Porter with a gun a while ago.

After his arrest, a judge agreed to hold Porter under no bond at the request of prosecutors. Seventeen months later he was released under house arrest.


Court documents show Porter was placed on pre-trial release by Judge Cobb in February of 2014.

In a motion filed several days before, defense argued that among other reasons, Porter should be released under house arrest because

“Absent from the investigation and discovery is a motive, an eye-witness, a confession, a weapon, that the Defendant and Grant knew each other or interacted in any way, or any forensic evidence of any kind linking the defendant to the crime; at most there is a suggestion that the Defendant was present in a heavily populated area the morning of the incident.”

Records show he was to live in Wallace with his girlfriend, Niki Breedlove, and five children.

Conditions of his release, which were modified in April of 2015, included that his bond remains unsecured, that he would be subject to house arrest with electronic monitoring until he secured employment, that he “shall not threaten, harass, intimidate or have any contact, direct or indirect, with witnesses in this case” and that he shall not possess a deadly weapon.

According to the Duplin County Sheriff, Porter cut off his ankle monitoring device the day of Hester's murder and is currently considered a fugitive.

With regard to the monitoring device, court documents show an alert was received for the device around 9 p.m. November 12, in the area of 128 James Spencer Lane in Wallace.

Deputies say Porter's girlfriend, Breedlove, was arrested when deputies searched the home and found drugs. She was charged with the following: felony possession of cocaine; possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver scheduled II drugs; maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Anyone with information about Porter's whereabouts is asked to contact the Duplin County Sheriff's Office at 910-296-2150.


Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous sent the following statement in response the recent murder:

Because of the pending litigation in this case we are limited in our response. It is tragic that this suspect is believed to have been involved in yet another murder. While our investigators work hard on all cases to collect as much evidence as possible, the final decision to grant an individual's release does not rest with our agency. 

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