NC court orders new trial for man convicted of murder at Raleigh motel. Here’s why.

A man convicted in a Raleigh motel shooting that left a man dead and woman injured will get a new trial, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Eric Ramond Chambers was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder and nine to 12 years for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill in the Aug. 12, 2018, shooting at the Knights Inn on New Bern Avenue. He represented himself at trial.

Davelle Shaunduke McMoore, 23, and Terry Vernette Blossom, 53, were shot, The News & Observer reported, and McMoore died from his injuries.

But over five years later, the Court of Appeals found the trial judge violated Chambers’ right to a proper jury when the judge replaced a juror with an alternate juror after deliberations had begun.

According to the ruling, a juror in the trial had informed the judge he couldn’t return the next day because of a doctor’s appointment.

Chambers filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking that the case be reviewed. The state court filed a motion to dismiss the appeal.

The Court of Appeals agreed with Chambers that replacing a juror during deliberations had violated his constitutional right to “a properly constituted jury.”

The ruling noted that the General Assembly amended a state law in 2021 to require courts to restart deliberations if an alternate juror replaces a juror after deliberations have begun. But the Court of Appeals said that state Supreme Court precedent overrules state legislation.

The appeal was first entered in April 2022 by Judge Rebecca W. Holt in Wake County Superior Court.

In correspondence to Holt, Chambers defended his innocence.

“Ms. Holt (I’m) innocent in my case. I was lied on and framed,” Chambers wrote in an October 2023 letter. “I just want to come home and live a productive life. I will not come home and commit a crime. I’m not mad at anybody, I’m just focused on getting back in the court room. I will greatly appreciate if you helped me with another opportunity at being successful in life.”