High school students killed in Orange County shot while running away, prosecutor says

Akilah Davis Image
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Bond denied for man accused of killing 2 Orange Co. teens
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Issiah Ross will remain locked up, a judge ruled Tuesday after hearing more details about the crime, including why he's a flight risk.

ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Issiah Ross will remain locked up without bond, charged with the murders of Lyric Woods and Devin Clark, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Ross appeared in court with his attorney Tuesday afternoon for a bond hearing. Since bond is usually denied to defendants who are considered flight risks, Ross' attorney tried to explain why Ross was arrested in Delaware after the crime.

The attorney said that Ross was not running away from law enforcement. In fact, Ross maintains his innocence in the case. Instead he says he was in Delaware because much of Ross' family lives there and he was staying with them at the time due to an argument he had with his mother who lives in North Carolina.

The defense attorney described Ross as a loving son who was a big brother to three siblings.

"This is a travesty of two people found how they were, but the evidence doesn't say Ross committed these acts," said the defense attorney. "The state's attorney theory is the kids met up. For some reason a gun brought by Clark was turned against him and Lyric with no other explanation or understanding whatsoever."

However, after the defense attorney spoke, the state's attorney released new information about the case that left family members and friends of Lyric Woods and Devon Clark shattered. You could see the tears and hear sniffles in the courtroom.

The prosecutor said autopsy findings revealed that Woods was shot at least four times, twice in the back and at least once at close range. Clark was shot five times, including three in his back and one to the back of his head.

Both attorneys stated the gun used to kill the teenagers was a 9 millimeter owned by Clark's father.

It took investigators 36 hours to find the bodies of Woods and Clark last September, because they had been dragged and hidden behind a tall bush.

The prosecutor also explained some of the evidence investigators used to identify Ross as the shooter and ultimately arrest him. That evidence included a witness who said Ross confessed to killing and dumping Woods and Clark's bodies.

The prosecuting attorney shared evidence that Ross shot Woods and Clark as they were trying to run away.

"Preliminary autopsy findings present that Lyric was shot at least four times. Twice in the back, once in the arm and once in the neck at close range causing stifling on her face. Devin was shot five times. Three times in the back, once in the foot at the bottom of his heel and once in the back of the head," said the prosecuting attorney.

The motive behind the killings remains unknown.

The prosecution argued that Ross' cellphone identified his location after the crimes were committed. Surveillance video obtained by investigators from the Petro Travel Center on Buckhorn Road shows a white GMC Terrain in the lot and Ross is visibly the driver.

According to the state's attorney a witness came forward stating Ross confessed to him that he had done something bad.

Ross' defense attorney filed a motion that he be given a $200,000 bond, but after hearing the evidence Tuesday, the judge denied that request. Ross must now remain behind bars without bond for the time being.

His next scheduled court appearance is set for June 27.