Travis Sherman is one of two men charged with murder in the January 2010 death of Kenny Ring. He has been behind bars for a year and a half and if convicted, could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Ring was found in the Knightdale restaurant brutally beaten with a baseball bat. He died a few days later. Detectives said robbery was a motive in the murder because $1,500 was missing from the restaurant.
"When I looked at Kenny I realized he was in pretty bad shape," Knightdale police officer Ron Fullerton testified.
Fullerton told jurors that when he walked into the small office at the pizza store he first noticed lots of blood, especially near a desk.
"Underneath the desk was Kenny Ring lying on his right side kind of in the fetal position," Fullerton said. "I actually grabbed Kenny's leg and said, 'Hey, buddy' just to try to get a response. And, uh, I never got a response. It was just kind of a moan."
It took investigators eight months to arrest Sherman and his friend, Nico Bowers. Bowers was a delivery driver at Domino's and is the person who called 911 the night of the attack. He told 911 operators he found his boss robbed and beaten and was there when police and paramedics arrived.
The prosecutor told jurors that they will see video of Sherman confessing to police that he was involved in the robbery and murder.
"Travis Sherman tells investigators that he and Chris waited for Nico to go out on a delivery. Travis said they knew the back door was never locked, so Travis waited outside as a lookout and Chris Thomas went inside with an adult size aluminum baseball bat," prosecutor Doug Faucette told jurors. "Travis says he hears a yell. Chris Thomas comes out the back door and Travis and Chris run off together."
Investigators believe that Sherman was involved in the murder, but they do not believe it was Chris Thomas who killed Ring. Investigators believe Sherman wielded the bat that ultimately left Ring dead.
Sherman's defense attorney told jurors that the investigation by Knightdale police was flawed and that investigators depended greatly on a jailhouse snitch that cannot be trusted for evidence.