Jury in North Hills murder trial hears from rebuttal witnesses

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Wake County jury is listening to more testimony Friday, this time from rebuttal witnesses, in the sentencing phase of the Travion Smith murder trial.

Smith was convicted earlier this week of first-degree murder in the death of Melissa Huggins-Jones and faces the death penalty. Huggins-Jones was found murdered by her 8-year-old daughter in May 2013 at her North Hills apartment.

The state medical examiner said Huggins-Jones suffered 18 injuries, most of which were blunt force injuries.

On Friday, the jury heard from Smith’s former probations officer. The officer told the court that Smith had admitted to him that he was a gang member.

The jury heard from other officers Friday about other confrontations with Smith. One officer said she came into contact with Smith during a lock down. She said Smith refused to go back and prayed him with mace.
On Thursday, the jury heard from Smith’s half-sister, Kristina Love. Love said that Smith was beaten and abused by his father as a child. Love also described Smith’s father as “angry, hostile and negative, when drunk.

Jurors also heard from a psychologist on Thursday who had Smith as a client. He testified Thursday that he recommended long-term treatment for Smith, but Smith’s father told the psychologist he could not afford it.

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