Orange County Prosecutors Reveal More Woods-Clark Murder Details

Orange County Prosecutors Reveal More Woods-Clark Murder Details

Orange County Prosecutors Reveal More Woods-Clark Murder Details: Prosecutors claim that the main suspect in the murders of two local adolescents in September shot the victims many times in the back before escaping the country. Issiah Mehki Ross, 18, a resident of Mebane, made his first court appearance in 2023 on Tuesday in the late afternoon.

The defense requested a $200,000 bond for Ross at the hearing, claiming that Ross was not a flight risk. Both the prosecution and the defense provided details of the shooting’s timeline during the arguments, which attracted the interest and sympathy of many in the Orange County community.

Ross is the prime suspect in the killings of Lyric Woods, 14, and Devin Clark, 18, whose bodies were discovered together in September off Buckhorn Road in a rural area of Orange County. The two were reported missing separately about a day earlier; according to their families, they were buddies.

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The prosecution said on Tuesday that Woods messaged Clark on Saturday, September 17, between one and two in the morning, requesting to be picked up from her house. Ross responded to Clark’s request for a ride through text by utilizing his mother’s white GMC Terrain. Tuesday, Ross’ legal counsel, Jonathan Trapp, made it clear that his client had no prior connections to Woods.

After picking up Woods somewhere in the ensuing hour, things started to get physical. On a dirt lane off Buckhorn Road, shots were fired multiple times at Woods and Clark, who the state claims were carrying his father’s gun.

Ross said that a fight broke out while in his mother’s SUV over the gun, according to a witness who spoke with Ross later on September 17 and later contacted Orange County authorities. Ross claimed that Woods was shot in the car after Clark was struck and killed when the gun went off.

Prosecutors claim that the evidence that was discovered by investigators disputes this account. Blood was discovered on the interior and exterior of the GMC Terrain in the days after the murders of Woods and Clark, but not enough to suggest two persons perished inside. On Tuesday, the prosecution stated that the swabs are still being processed for DNA.

The severity of the two teenagers’ injuries was disclosed to the public for the first time. Woods reportedly had four gunshot wounds: two to her back, and one to each arm and neck. Investigators claim that Clark was shot five times: three times in the back, once through the heel of the foot, and once in the back of the head.

At the crime scene off Buckhorn Road, investigators discovered additional blood evidence as well as 13 shell casings from a 9-millimeter pistol. Some of those shot casings, according to the prosecution, were discovered in groupings, and the bodies had been “dragged and/or put” in a region of dense undergrowth, both on their backs and with their arms extended.

According to Orange County Assistant District Attorney Anna Orr, “looking at all of the preliminary evidence we have, I feel like it will only be enhanced when we have the rest of the forensic evidence returned…

When Devin and Lyric tried to flee from this car, they were shot in the back. They were not shot inside the car; instead, they were shot outside the vehicle. Since they each had shots at close range, the grouping of the rounds indicates that they traveled a considerable distance.

They were put to death, said Orr. This wasn’t some gunfight where the gun went off. That wasn’t the case at all with this. Additionally, the bodies were hidden to hide the murder.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office revealed it had a lead juvenile suspect in the case less than 24 hours after reporting the discovery of the deaths, keeping Ross’ identity secret in accordance with North Carolina law since the boy was 17 at the time of the crime.

Authorities ultimately detained Ross on October 5 in Delaware, which the defense claimed was his original place of residence before relocating to Mebane recently. Ross has a past criminal history in Delaware, but due to his age at the time of the crimes, those records are not available, according to prosecutors on Tuesday.

Ross’s attorney, Jonathan Trapp, argued that Ross was not a flight risk and should be granted a bond because he arrived in Delaware with “nowhere else to remain.” Trapp claimed that Ross was expelled from his mother’s house due to damage to her car, which he confessed had been at the scene of the crime when Woods and Clark were killed.

Ross’ bond was refused on Tuesday by Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour after hearing arguments from the district attorney’s office and Ross’ legal team. Additionally, he decided that the investigators’ white GMC Terrain would stay held until the findings of the forensic tests conducted inside the car were made available.

Ross made his first court appearance on November 15, although it was only a quick, primarily procedural hearing that didn’t add any information to the homicide case’s evidence. Similar to Ross’ initial court appearance, the two victims’ friends and relatives were present in part of the Orange County courthouse.

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The assemblage, which included individuals sporting jerseys with the likenesses of Woods and Clark, sat and listened to the specifics. As information about Woods and Clark’s deaths was revealed, some people sobbed softly. Ross is being tried as an adult for the first-degree murder charges even though he was a minor when Woods and Clark were killed.

According to Orange County District Attorney Jeff Nieman, the prosecution would not pursue the teenager’s execution; nonetheless, Ross might be sentenced to life in prison if proven guilty. The 18-year-old has been detained in the Orange County Jail since December 12 and is currently there. Ross had previously been housed in a juvenile facility due to his age.