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Murder conviction in North Carolina apartment attack upheld

January 15, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court found no errors in the trial of a man convicted of first-degree murder in the bludgeoning and stabbing death of a mother in her apartment during a night-time robbery.

A state Court of Appeals panel upheld Tuesday the 2016 conviction of Travion Smith. He was sentenced to life in prison for the 2013 killing of Melissa Huggins-Jones.

Evidence showed Smith was part of a trio stealing electronics from unlocked cars in north Raleigh. Prosecutors say Smith and another man entered the victim’s apartment building. The opinion says Huggins-Jones kept her windows and a sliding door open because the air conditioning wasn’t working. Her 8-year-old daughter was in another bedroom but wasn’t hurt.

The appeals court rejected Smith’s challenges about jury instructions and a prosecutor’s witness.

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