The trial was in its second week and investigators shared details about the defendant's confession to the crime. Shawn McDaniels with the Richland County Sheriff's Department was called to testify Monday morning about the day in which he and other officers went to Manning's home to take him into custody. She picked it up. I told her to stop playing. I took it away from her and when I pulled it back from her, she turned around and it went off," McDaniels read.
He said the bullet fragments removed from McPhatter's skull were consistent with a Highpoint. Manning said he panicked and called his friend, Kendra Goodman. He said Goodman tried to first set the car on fire, and that she was the one who suggested using Nikki's ATM cards.
Asked if Manning would have done anything differently, he said he would've called someone else that day. He then apologized for pulling the trigger saying McPhatter deserved better and he was sorry for putting both her family and his family through "this.
In it, he detailed a fight between him and McPhatter right before the shooting. Investigators say it was the first time Manning admitted the shooting was intentional. In cross examination, the defense claims mistakes were made in the way the statements were written down.
They say Manning shot McPhatter in self-defense, after she first pointed the gun at him. As the statements were read aloud, Manning sat expressionless in the courtroom.
He also claimed police never read him his rights, or gave him a chance to call an attorney. The detective also testified that Manning admitted that he and McPhatter had an argument, and that Manning said the shooting was an accident. During opening statements Wednesday morning, the defense told the court that while Manning pulled the trigger, it was an act of self-defense. The defense claimed Manning shot McPhatter only after she pulled a gun on him following an argument over their relationship.
The solicitor, however, told the jurors that Manning's attempt to cover up the death was malicious. One of the witnesses called to the stand on Wednesday was an employee with Wachovia's bank fraud department who told the court about transactions that were made with McPhatter's ATM card after she was reported missing.
The solicitor also presented as evidence surveillance video which showed a black male walking up to a drive-thru ATM, and bank records which showed seven different times in which McPhatter's bank card was used.
The court also heard an audio recording of Manning that was recorded by CMPD detectives during their first interview with him. On the tape, Manning told police McPhatter came to visit him and she needed gas.
He said she needed to go somewhere, and that he hadn't talked to her since. Manning also told police his relationship with McPhatter was sexual in nature, and that she called him "Teddy. They pulled over at a church located off Peach Road. A while later, Manning returned to her car, and they drove to another location to fill a container with gas. They went back to the church where Goodman parked her car. Goodman remained in the vehicle and Manning got out, taking Goodman's cigarette lighter and the gas can.
He left Goodman in the parking lot and walked a short distance away. Moments later, she heard an explosion. She said Manning smelled like gasoline when he came back to her car. Manning told the investigators "maybe two weeks ago. The video also showed Manning at an ATM machine inside the store attempting to make two transactions. Since McPhatter had been reported as missing, the bank had already placed a stop on the card to prevent any further activity on her account.
Bradley Marcus said McPhatter was killed by a bullet to the back of her head. McDonald also read text messages from Manning to co-defendant, Kendra Goodman, which alluded to the crime. If Manning is convicted, he faces 30 years in prison or a possible life sentence. Three hours after arriving at Manning's house in Richland County, investigators say McPhatter had telephone contact with friends telling them that she needed gasoline to travel back to Charlotte.
She apparently traveled to Columbia to break up with Manning and to retrieve jewelry she gave him to have repaired. Lott said Manning shot McPhatter in the back of the head in an upstairs room in his home. Manning then called a friend, Kendra Goodman, who was also charged in connection with the murder.
Goodman went to Manning's home and he asked her to follow him in McPhatter's car. Manning allegedly placed McPhatter in the trunk of her own car and drove the body to Peach Road off I Manning then drove down a dirt road into a wooded area and parked McPhatter's car where he later set McPhatter's car on fire with her inside, the sheriff said.
The sheriff said Manning and Goodman admitted to having sex after the murder was committed.