NC prison murder trial: Inmate beat CO 'until she stopped moving'

One of four inmates involved in the failed escape said the deadly attempt was his idea

Jeff Hampton

PASQUOTANK, NC — Defendant Mikel Brady admitted to striking a prison guard until she quit moving in a video interview shown Thursday in Dare County Superior Court.

Brady, now 30 and facing a first degree murder charge, sat in a desk chair shirtless and in handcuffs as he watched the video of himself telling the story of a deadly escape attempt from Pasquotank Correctional Institution on Oct. 12, 2017.

District Attorney Andrew Womble seeks the death penalty for Brady, who has pleaded not guilty.

State Bureau of Investigation agent Paul Munson conducted the interview just hours after Brady and three other inmates were arrested that day. The jury listened and watched the two-year-old interview.

The audio was difficult to hear in the courtroom. At one point, Judge Jerry Tillett stopped the proceedings as unsuccessful attempts were made to improve the sound.

Brady was the first to bring up the idea of breaking free months before the escape, he said in the video. He had been sentenced to 40 years and had nothing to lose, he said.

“Escape was always on my mind,” he told Munson.

At one point he teared up and Munson wiped his eyes with a tissue.

Brady had been assigned to work in the prison and had access to a warehouse. He found out about tools available and built a pallet that might help them get over fences topped with razor wire.

He said Veronica Darden, one of the prison employees killed, was like a “mother figure” to him, and he felt bad about hurting her.

He also described how they attacked guard Wendy Shannon and struck her until she “stopped.”

“Until she stopped what?” Munson asked.

“Moving,” Brady said.

He said he made it to the outer fence before he faced several officers with guns. He demanded they shoot him, but they would not. In the interview, he cursed the officers for not shooting him.

“I didn’t have anything to live for,” he told Munson. “I wanted to die.”

Brady, Jonathan Monk, Seth J. Frazier and Wisezah Buckman are charged with first-degree murder. Killed were prison sewing plant supervisor Darden, 50, maintenance man Geoffrey Howe, 31, and corrections officers Justin Smith, 35, and Shannon, 49.

All four prisoners were serving time for violent crimes.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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