Girlfriend in North Hills case describes seeing knife, blood on night of murder

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A woman involved in the murder of a Raleigh mother who lived at North Hills testified Thursday afternoon about the night of the murder.

Sarah Redden testified she had an intimate relationship with Ronald Anthony, who “got mean” as the relationship continued.

Sara Redden in court on Thursday. (WNCN)
Sarah Redden in court on Thursday. (WNCN)

Sarah Redden has admitted she was the get-away driver after the killing of Melissa Huggins-Jones in her North Hills apartment in May of 2013.

Travion Smith is on trial for murder. Redden testified that Smith and Anthony would break into cars and she was the lookout to make sure no one was coming.

The night Huggins-Jones was killed, she said Smith and Anthony went off to “check something out.” She stayed in a building under construction near an occupied building in the North Hills neighborhood.

At one point, she said, she saw Smith on the second floor balcony. He was “wiping off rails using his shirt,” she said.

After that, she said, Anthony told her they had to go, and they left “kind of quick.”

She said that Smith and Anthony had two laptops with them and put the laptops in backpacks. She said they fled the area and then the two men used water bottles to clean their hands.

“They were anxious,” she said.

She said that Anthony showed her a bloody knife and that Smith had what appeared to be blood on her shirt.

After seeing the blooding knife, she asked Smith what was going on.

She said he told her, “Forget it, let it go.”

She said the men were glad that Huggins-Jones’ daughter didn’t wake up during the murder.

Jurors also heard from Smith’s former roommate, Amber Alberts. She testified she dated Ronald Anthony, who is also a suspect in the murder of Huggins-Jones. Alberts told the court she lived with the suspects during the period when Huggins-Jones was murdered.

On Wednesday, the prosecution spent the day building its case against the suspects by connecting the murder to the theft of laptops.

RELATED: Stolen laptops sparked arrest in North Hills murder case

The on-site property manager of Kane Realty testified their leasing office was just below Huggins-Jones apartment and that it had been broken into the same night Huggins-Jones was murdered. Elizabeth Lee said two Lenovo laptops were among the items taken.

Michael McCollum, a witness who says he knew the two suspects, told the court Wednesday that Smith talked about killing Huggins-Jones and showed no remorse. McCollum also said Smith gave him a laptop to sell on Craigslist.

“I didn’t know anything of a murder or anything at this point in time,” McCollum testified.

Alberts said Thursday that Smith showed up with two laptops one day. They were the same laptops police say were stolen from the apartment complex where Huggins-Jones was murdered.

“First Ronald said he wanted to keep them, to use it to go back to school but a couple minutes later he tried to say it was a gift for me,” Alberts testified. “I’m not stupid when it comes to Ron. I didn’t want anything to do with it.”

Detectives testified Wednesday that McCollum led them to Smith and Anthony after they arrested him outside of a Wal-Mart in Wake Forest trying to sell the stolen laptops.

“I contacted several undercover units to provide security at the Wal-Mart parking lot and I went to the Wal-Mart to meet Mike (McCollum) to purchase the laptop,” said Det. Zeke Morse, Raleigh Police Department.

McCollum said police raided his home, arrested him and seized a laptop that Smith gave him to sell. McCollum said Smith talked about the murder of Huggins-Jones while they were in a holding cell and showed mow remorse.


Reporter Emma Wright contributed to this report.

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