Detective: Stolen computer was break in Raleigh mom's murder case

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A stolen computer was a break in the murder case, detectives said.

The second day of testimony continued in the murder trial of Melissa Huggins-Jones on Wednesday.

Jurors in the death penalty trial of Travion Smith heard about the break police got a week after the 30-year-old mother was murdered at her North Hills apartment on May 14, 2013.

Once the crucial first 48 hours in a murder investigation pass, investigators said they become concerned.

Raleigh Police Detective Jerry Faulk was working on the case and said he was looking into nearby break-ins on the same night of the murder.

He was specifically trying to find stolen items.

At that point, police said they had no idea who had killed Huggins-Jones while her 8-year-old daughter slept in the next room.

Smith, along with two other people - Ronald Anthony and Sarah Redden - charged in connection with the murder, were not on investigators' radar at that point.

RELATED: Suspect pleads guilty to Raleigh mother's 2013 murder

Anthony has since pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to life without parole.

Redden is said to have been the getaway driver and her case is pending her testimony in Smith's trial.

Jurors, who may have to decide whether to sentence Smith to death, heard Wednesday that it was a stolen orange-colored Lenovo laptop that gave police their big break.

"It was listed on Craigslist and we were able to locate that ad, that Craigslist ad and make contact with the person who put that item for sale on Craigslist," Faulk said.

He said the man who was selling the laptop was interviewed and provided Anthony's name.

Testimony continued with a Lenovo employee who detailed for the courtroom how he was able to match the computer to the one reported stolen.

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