Neighbors, Deputy Take Stand as Miss Savannah Trial Continues - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/10/05

Neighbors, Deputy Take Stand as Miss Savannah Trial Continues

Redmond confers with her attorney. Redmond confers with her attorney.

The trial of Nikki Redmond is taking place at the Chatham County Courthouse on Montgomery Street in Savannah. As the trial of the former beauty queen continues, neighbors of the victim's fiancee, Rachel Hall, are telling what they saw and heard.

On the stand today, several people who live near Hall testified they saw Redmond driving around the neighborhood for some time before the shooting.

Kenneth Bryant was one of many witnesses from Hall's neighborhood called. "We noticed that there was a car that just kept cruising around, cruising around, cruising around," he said.

The car he saw ended up belonging to the former Miss Savannah. "There's only one way in and kind of one way out," Bryant said. "In the time limit that it took the car to go around, I know that they could not cruise the city. Five minutes here, seven minutes here, you know, periodically through the day, within a couple hours span, just kept cruising."

But on the way to find Hall's house, another witness would testify, Redmond actually stopped to ask for directions.

"I looked at her and asked her why she would want me to show her," said Iris Hines. "She said she was wanting to go talk to her mother."

Hines said she got into Redmond's car to show her where Hall lived, but when Redmond took her back home, she testified she heard her say that Hall didn't know who she was messing with.

"I looked at her like she was crazy," Hines said.

Later on that same night, a gunshot would sound throughout the neighborhood.

"I heard an individual, it was a male voice that said, 'Hey, hey, hey,' about three times," testified Bryant. "And then there was one pop."

It would be another neighbor who would run to the scene to help save Kevin Shorter's life. "He did tell me that, 'I'm not going to make it,'" testified Cynthia Stevens. "He told me that a couple times."

Before Shorter slipped into a coma, he told a sheriff's deputy what had happened.

"At first he was just moaning, and saying that, 'I been shot,'" testified Dep. Mike Wiggins with the Chatham County Sheriff's Department. "As I knelt down beside him, his breathing was very heavy. And he kept, started saying, 'I don't think I'm going to make it. I don't think I'm going to make it'"

He also testified that before Shorter was taken to the hospital, there was something Shorter needed to tell him. "And he said, 'I've got to tell you what happened.' I told him, 'Just calm down.' He said, 'I've got to tell you what happened.'"

The deputy explained how Shorter told him about the confrontation between Hall and Redmond, how Redmond was upset that he had broken up with her two weeks prior and how she actually threatened to shoot him before she did.

With the defense claiming Shorter likely died from an artery severed during surgery which bled for three days before medical personnel detected it, even this deputy questioned others at the scene whether an ambulance had been dispatched.

"Deputy Wiggins, you're aware that the dispatcher was fired over this?" asked defense attorney Micheal Schiavone.

Dep. Wiggins: Yes I am.

Micheal Schiavone: Because she never called an ambulance, did she?

Dep. Wiggins: Pardon me, sir?

Micheal Schiavone: She never called the ambulance, when she called you.

Dep. Wiggins: It states that she did it approximately 14 to 15 minutes later.

Micheal Schiavone: Because of that she was fired.

Dep. Wiggins: That's what I was told.

The prosecution rested today and the defense is scheduled to put its witnesses on the stand tomorrow.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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