Travion Smith will not testify in Raleigh mom murder trial

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The defense rested in a Raleigh murder trial after defendant Travion Smith decided not to testify (WTVD)

Travion Smith will not testify in his murder trial and the defense will not put on evidence, Smith's attorneys told the judge Friday.

Smith is accused along with two other suspects of the murder of a 30-year-old Raleigh mother, who was found by her 8-year old daughter beaten and stabbed to death inside their North Hills apartment in May 2013.

Smith's decision not to take the witness stand in his defense came after the prosecution rested Friday morning following a state medical examiner's testimony about the wounds Melissa Huggins-Jones endured before her death.

Medical Examiner Lauren Scott told the courtroom that it would have taken several minutes to an hour for Huggins-Jones to die, and that she would have been aware she was dying.

Prosecutors say Smith, Ronald Anthony Jr., and Sarah Redden were breaking into cars just prior to the murder when the two men climbed up to a second-floor balcony and got in to Huggins-Jones' apartment through a sliding door.

Redden allegedly acted as lookout.

Last September, Anthony pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The plea deal spared him the death penalty.

Redden, who agreed to testify against Smith, was on the witness stand last Thursday. She said while she acted as a lookout, she didn't take part in the murder.

Earlier this week, jurors saw about 80 minutes of video portions of Smith's police interrogation following his arrest more than a week after the crime.

Many times the detective told Smith his co-defendants - in separate interview rooms - were accusing him of the murder.

During his seven-hour interrogation with Raleigh police detective Eric Gibney, Smith denied being in the apartment, but he said he did hear Huggins-Jones scream and it kept him from sleeping later.

"It just sounded like a horrifying scream like something you would hear in a horror movie," he told Detective Gibney.

After the defense rested Friday, Smith's attorneys motioned to dismiss charges - which the judge denied.

The jury was then told to return at 9:30 a.m. Monday for closings arguments.

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