Potentially suggestive text messages from the mobile phone of slain off-duty Norfolk officer Victor Decker will be allowed as evidence, according to an agreement presented to a judge Tuesday.
The stipulation came in what was likely the final pre-trial hearing for Kareem H. Turner, one of two men accused of robbing and killing Decker outside an Oceana go-go bar in 2010.
Turner’s trial is scheduled to start Monday. Defense attorneys will also be able to use recorded jail phone calls among the several inmates who are cooperating with prosecutors. Those inmates have testified they either saw part of the crime, or heard one of the defendants confess in jail. Most have said they’re trading their testimony for possible breaks on sentences. Defense attorneys believe the inmates are lying to help themselves, and that’s why they were interested in the phone records.
Lawyers for co-defendant Raymond Lewis Perry have already said in court the officer was repeatedly unfaithful to his wife, and cheated on her the day he was murdered.
Defense attorneys believe his personal life – perhaps documented in phone records — is a more likely motive for murder.
Police and prosecutors say Turner and Perry robbed Decker and shot him once in the head. After the murder case was idle two years, police announced the charges against Perry first, and later, against Turner. In all evidentiary hearings so far, prosecutors have relied solely on the jailhouse snitches. Defense attorneys say police have no murder weapon, DNA, fingerprints or eyewitnesses to the shooting.