Murder victim ‘feared for her life’ in hotel room State / Region

Jurors at Raleigh County Circuit Court heard Thursday that an 18-year-old woman who was held hostage for several hours and later shot in the head at a Harper Road hotel in 2018 had helped the suspect locate the gun moments before turning it over. . on her.

Davide Hudson is on trial for the kidnapping and first degree murder of Amber Meadows, who had attended Independence High School.

On Thursday, Raleigh Assistant Prosecutor Brian Parsons and attorney Robert Dunlap both presented opening arguments, and Parsons introduced a number of items as evidence.

Parson’s witness, Jonathan Bird of Prosperity, testified that he and his girlfriend, who had just given birth to his baby in July 2018, had moved to Maplewood Apartments in Prosperity. Bird said he wasn’t working at the time, but was self-employed. a music producer. In the apartment complex he met Tyrique Pearl, a rap musician. According to Bird, the two formed a social bond because of their mutual interest in music.

Bird said that Pearl introduced Bird to Hudson, the defendant.

“I bought heroin from him,” Bird told the judges.

He also met Antonio Williams through Pearl. He testified that he was “not much of a relationship” with Hudson or Williams and had only known Hudson for about two weeks on July 8, 2018. In all, he said, the four men had hung out together three or four times.

“We drank together, smoked marijuana, that sort of thing,” he explained. “Never promising activities.”

He said he was taking his parents’ car to Taco Bell that evening around 6:00 PM to get food for his parents. Hudson, Williams and Pearl “ridden out” with him, he testified.

Hudson had to go buy some ammunition at (Beckley) Walmart, so I dropped it off at Walmart while I was going to Taco Bell for my parents,” he said. “He just got a new revolver and he didn’t have any ammunition for it, so he had to go buy ammunition for it.”

Bird said Hudson’s gun was an older silver .38 special revolver.

Later that night, the four men left the apartment in a Cherokee belonging to Bird’s girlfriend, who had just had a baby. Bird drove.

Bird testified that he, Pearl and another man entered a house in Eccles and stole drugs and “$10 or $20 for gas” at gunpoint. After parting ways with the man and his mother and girlfriend, the four drove to the little general in Crab Orchard at Arby’s.

Bird said Hudson then saw the victim drive into the parking lot in her car. Her friends Arileah Lacy and Destiny Conkle were in the car with her.

Bird testified that there had been a dispute two weeks earlier. Hudson told Bird he was robbed of seven grams of heroin while in a car with the three women and a man named Antoine Brown, Bird said.

Meadows was reportedly in a relationship with Brown, Bird said.

According to testimonials, it was a coincidence that the three women drove onto the property while Hudson was there.

“Mr. Hudson had said, ‘There they go, right there,'” Bird testified. “I wasn’t sure at the time what he was talking about.”

Bird said he came out of the store to find Hudson, Williams and Pearl talking to Meadows, Conkle and Lacy about where they would like to go to socialize and do drugs.

The girls didn’t feel comfortable going to Williams’ house, and the group decided to get a room at a motel on Harper Road.

Bird said the four men and three women had been in the parking lot for at least an hour.

Nothing overtly dangerous was mentioned, and the interaction was “friendly,” Bird said.

“We were three men with guns, and that was made very clear to the women at the gas station,” he added.

Pearl, who apparently knew Lacy, rode with the women. The three other men drove into the Cherokee to Travel Lodge, where Bird gave his credit card for check-in. Hudson logged in with an ID that didn’t have Hudson’s photo on it.

Bird said he and Pearl planned to go home, but Bird walked to the hotel room to warn the group not to damage the room.

“(My baby’s mother) called me non-stop all night,” he said. “She wanted me home. We had a newborn.”

Bird said he, Williams and Hudson were the last three to enter the hotel room.

Once inside, Bird said, Hudson suddenly pulled out a gun and said, “No one leaves until I say so.”

Bird said Hudson started an apparent campaign to terrorize the three women, who were lying together on one of the beds. He instructed other members of the group to block both doors with chairs.

He had the women and the three other men put their cell phones in an ice bucket, Bird said. In the end, he got Bird to give up his gun, according to Bird. Bird thought it was because he was the only white person in the group besides the victims.

According to Bird, Hudson was drunk. He loaded his gun and started pointing it at the women. He would then cock the gun and pretend to pull the trigger, but he let go of the hammer slowly so it wouldn’t fire.

“I couldn’t put an exact number on it,” Bird said, when asked how often Hudson threatened the women. “It was constant, from the moment we entered the room.

“(The girls) were huddled on the bed trying to protect each other.”

At one point, Bird said, Hudson removed all but one of the bullets and continued a macabre game of Russian roulette with the entire group, reminding them that any of them — including Hudson — could die.

“He started pointing the laser at everyone in the room, including myself, and said, ‘You could die, you could die, you could die.’

“He even turned it on himself and said he could die.

“It was all a scare tactic, that’s it.”

Bird said Meadows seemed particularly afraid of Hudson.

“Initially, each of the (victims) was terrified,” Bird said. “Ma’am. Meadows, I remember she cried.”

Conkle eventually got braver and put her body in front of the gun when it was pointed at Lacy, who was her friend.

“Mrs. Lacy … she didn’t seem too intimidated,” Bird said. “But Mrs. Meadows feared for her life most of the night.”

Around 3 a.m. Bird went to McDonald’s to get food for the men.

At one point, he said, Hudson took a rubber mallet and destroyed things in the hotel room, including a doorknob, despite Bird’s previous admonition not to damage the room.

Williams went with him on Hudson’s orders, he testified. Neither of the two men informed police of the hotel room hostage situation, he said.

None of the gunmen intervened or assisted the victims, Bird testified.

He said that at one point during the night, Meadows “just seemed numb to the fact that her life was in danger”.

Bird testified that Hudson said Lacy could leave the next day to go to her Hooter’s work, but Meadows had to stay.

Neither Lacy nor Conkle would leave without Meadows, Bird testified.

About half an hour before Meadows was shot, he said, Hudson told the group he would stop using his gun to intimidate them.

The group began sharing “a blunt” marijuana, and Hudson said to Bird, “Hey, you’re good to go. Your baby mama called you.”

Bird said he stayed to smoke the pot and a cigarette. He and Pearl were planning to leave.

Lacy and Conkle were in a bathroom and Meadows and the men were in the bedroom area of ​​the suite.

“I was about to walk out the door and Mr. Hudson starts frantically searching for his gun,” Bird said.

Bird said Meadows went to the bathroom and pointed to the gun, which was behind the toilet.

She said, ‘It’s there. You left it there,” Bird said.

He said Hudson went to the bathroom and took the revolver, opened it and looked at it. He said to Meadows, “You could have got me.”

Bird said he said to Hudson, “No, she couldn’t have done that. There’s nothing in it.

“At this point I forgot there was another bullet in it,” Bird added. “(Hudson) looked at the revolver, closed the revolver and held it to Mrs. Meadows’ head and said, ‘No, it isn’t. No, that’s not it. No, it isn’t,” then pulled the trigger.

“That’s when the gun went off.”

Pearl and Bird left the room, as Bird feared for his life, he said. Eventually Williams followed and the three drove off in Bird’s girlfriend’s car. Only Hudson remained in the room, he said.

Bird didn’t call and said he didn’t believe anyone else called 911.

He said he made a full confession to Beckley Police officers on July 10, 2018.

Bird and Pearl both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder earlier this year and have agreed to testify against Hudson as part of their plea deals.

Williams pleaded guilty to kidnapping and voluntary manslaughter on October 21, 2020, and agreed to testify against Hudson.

Two police officers gave brief testimony on finding the deceased and collecting evidence at the crime scene. During questioning by Dunlap, one of the officers appeared to contradict a written police investigation report regarding a towel in one of the hotel bathrooms.

Dunlap objected to a number of questions and statements during Bird’s testimony, while Parsons objected while Dunlap was questioning an officer.

Judge HL Kirkpatrick of the Raleigh Circuit Court supported most of the objections.

Parsons brought a number of items into evidence, including a towel, a sweatshirt, beer cans and photos from the crime scene. None of the photos shown to jurors on Thursday showed the victim.

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