Closing arguments up next in deadly prison breakout trial

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — Closing arguments are expected next week in the trial of an inmate accused of murder in a deadly attempted breakout that left four North Carolina prison workers dead.

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Jurors on Thursday heard grisly details about the disturbance in a video interview, The Virginian-Pilot reported. In the interview, Mikel Brady described striking prison guard Wendy Shannon until she stopped moving during the October 2017 escape attempt at Pasquotank Correctional Institution. Shannon, another guard, a maintenance worker and a sewing plant manager were killed in the disturbance. Prisoners also set a fire as a diversion during the episode.

Brady is the first of four inmates to be tried on murder charges.

Brady said during the video interview, conducted hours after he was arrested, that he was upset about his long sentence for a 2013 shooting and felt he had nothing to lose. He said he brought up the escape idea months before he and three other inmates acted on their plan.

"Escape was always on my mind," he said.

Brady said he was assigned to work in an area where he had access to tools. An autopsy has said the four slain workers were attacked with hammers and scissors.

Brady told a state law enforcement agent during the interview that the inmates attacked Shannon and hit her until she "stopped."

"Until she stopped what?" the agent asked.

"Moving," Brady said.

Brady said he had made it outside the prison walls when he encountered several officers with guns at an outer fence. He said he begged them to shoot him.

"I didn't have anything to live for," he said in the videotaped interview. "I wanted to die."

The defense rested its case without calling any witnesses, WAVY-TV reported, so jury instructions and closing arguments could start as soon as Monday. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Brady. He has pleaded not guilty.

Brady was already serving time for attempted murder after shooting a North Carolina state trooper in 2013.