PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The judge in the Nashid Porter murder trial ruled Monday that prosecutors will be able to use evidence from a separate murder as evidence.
Porter is being tried for the July 2012 murder of 32-year-old Brian Grant.
While on pre-trial release in 2014, Porter allegedly took a prosecution witness in the Grant murder case, Obediah Hester IV, 27, of Wilmington, to an area in Duplin County and killed him execution-style. Prosecutors will now be able to present evidence from Hester's murder to the jury.
The trial was postponed last week after an unexpected death in the judge's family.
In the pre-trial evidence hearing, the State presented five witnesses to Judge Chuck Henry, who in his decision, said he thought the State met their burden to show Porter's intent, meditation and deliberation. He said he will put his decision in writing, but for time's sake, wanted to go ahead and let the court know.
The trial has had significant delays after Porter fired four court-appointed attorneys. Judge Henry ordered in May that he be denied the right to counsel, so he is representing himself.
Monday, U.S. Attorney Michael Anderson was called by District Attorney Ben David to explain why one witness will only be allowed to give limited testimony.
The U.S. Marshals assisted local law enforcement in locating Porter after the murder. David subpoenaed a WPD officer, who is cross-sworn with the U.S. Marshals, to testify in this trial, but Anderson told the judge he has only been authorized by the federal government to talk about certain topics.
He will not be able to tell the court about the tracking technology he used to find Porter. Anderson said that could reveal investigative techniques and could jeopardize their future use.
Ben David said this is the first case he's ever dealt with that type of federal regulation.
Porter made several motions to dismiss, but the judge denied all of them.
He also said he would not show up for the trial unless he was unshackled. Judge Henry already allowed him to be without handcuffs. Porter said it was unfair for the jurors to see him shackled since he hadn't been convicted of a crime.
The judge allowed that request.
Susanna Black will be in the courtroom for the trial. Follow her on Twitter for the latest updates.