RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Family members of Ladaja Nelson stood in front of the Wake County Justice Center on Thursday to address concerns regarding a case from four years ago.
In November 2019, Nelson and Jarius Barnes were accused of beating a man in the area of Brier Creek over a parking space. Both suspects were charged with murder when 65-year-old William Allison died days later.
According to a 911 call, Allison had stepped into the space someone was backing into and an argument escalated. Allison was transported to the hospital.
Nelson’s mother, Quinchelle Nelson, believes her daughter is innocent of murder. While speaking during a press conference Thursday, Quinchelle Nelson said, “My daughter did not murder anyone… Ladaja is a very responsible individual, she’s caring, she’s loving, she has always set an example for all those around her.”
She said Ladaja Nelson was working two jobs, went to college and was caring for her one-year-old son. Quinchelle Nelson added, “For her to be sitting in the Wake County Detention Center for nearly four years on first degree murder is appalling.”
National Civil Rights Activist, John Barnett, who spoke with family members said both Nelson and Barnes have been waiting for a fair trial.
“We’re not hiding, we’re standing right in front of your door telling you we just want to figure out when are you going to take Ms. Ladaja Nelson’s case to trial or drop the charges?” said Barnett. He added, “We’re here today to take a bold stand, we’re ready to go to trial, we’re ready to go to court, we’re here to put something in place.”
Barnett said two years ago they addressed concerns to the Wake County District Attorney’s Office about Nelson’s large bond. He said the bond has since dropped from $5 million to $1 million.
CBS17 News also reached out to close friends of William Allison. Dale Tincher said family members and those close to the man have continued to mourn his death.
“Billy was my best friend, I loved him dearly,” Tincher said.
Tincher told CBS17 News that Allison was a good man who was an active church member, member of the choir, and helped other people.
While family and others also wait for closure on the case, Tincher said, “The justice system has to do their work, and they’ll have to weigh the case and make that decision– it was a brutal murder.”
He added, “On one hand, we love and forgive, but on the other hand, there are consequences. The consequences were a dear man that was loved by so many and helped so many people is gone, he’s gone forever.”
CBS17 News reached out to Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman about the case but have not heard back yet. From online court records, it appears both Nelson and Barnes are expected to begin their trial in April of next year.