Trial continues for man accused of shooting Durham police officer

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A man on trial for a 2012 altercation that left a Durham police officer with a gunshot wound was back in Durham County Superior Court on Wednesday.

Carlos Antonio Riley Jr. was indicted by a Durham County grand jury in early 2013 on several charges that stemmed from a traffic stop on December 18, 2012.

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Authorities say around 10:20 a.m. on that day, Officer Kelley Stewart stopped Riley, who was with two other men, near the Forest Point apartment complex on Forest Road, near Guess Road and Broad Street. During a struggle, Officer Stewart was shot in the leg.

On Wednesday, the prosecution called apartment manager Brooke Hipes to the stand. Hipes is the apartment manager where the fight occurred.

She mentioned that she had called a drug and gang law enforcement team called HEAT.

A pretrial hearing determined that information was prejudicial to Riley. Prosecutors were supposed to instruct Hipes that information was off-limits, but they failed to do so.

The defense asked for a mistrial, but the judge denied the motion. The jury was instructed to strike Hipes' testimony about HEAT.

Hipes said she witnessed the fight between Riley and Stewart.

"There was a push-pull tug going on. I stepped back from the glass door and instructed assistant to call the police, lock the front door," Hipes described. "Someone was shooting."

Stewart is a Durham police investigator and has been on the force since 2007. He testified on Tuesday that during the stop a struggle ensued when Riley revved up his engine and started to drive away.

He told the court he was hanging on for his life when Riley then allegedly shot Stewart in the thigh with Stewart's gun and fled the scene.

A lawyer for Riley told ABC11 shortly after the incident that the police officer was dressed in plain clothes, was driving an unmarked vehicle, and shot himself in the leg during an altercation with Riley after trying to pull him over.

Authorities said Stewart's .45-caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun was missing after the shooting. However; his badge, which had been missing, was recovered.

Police later took Riley into custody around 1:45 p.m. on Rosetta Drive.

The two other men - Ledarius Devon Riley, and Dustin McCoy Portee, - were both arrested after the incident and charged with being an accessory after the fact to a felony.

RELATED: Two more arrested in connection with officer shooting

In court Monday during opening statements, Assistant District Attorney Stormy Ellis said evidence during the course of the trial would show that Stewart pulled over Riley's vehicle to give him a warning for "fishtailing down Forest Road."

But instead the incident left "Stewart on the ground facing every officer's greatest nightmare."

Defense attorney Alex Charns told the jury that Riley was scared for his life and didn't pull the trigger of the gun.

He said when Stewart pulled Riley over, he strayed from police department policy and didn't call the traffic stop in, and that evidence would show that the year before the incident Stewart, who is black, stopped black motorists 76 percent of the time, according to Charns.

Charns went on to say that after Riley handed over his license and registration the investigator asked him to get out of the car and patted him down. After the frisk, the officer then said allegedly wanted to search the car and after being refused pulled out his gun according.

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Riley Jr. originally faced six separate charges that included assault on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon, 2 counts of assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer, assault on a law enforcement officer inflicting serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and careless and reckless driving.

Riley pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon in federal court in February 2014 and was sentenced to 10 years, according to prosecutors Monday.

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