Rape trial proceeds without victim’s presence

Jul. 16, 2013 @ 07:25 PM

The Durham County District Attorney’s office is trying a man for first-degree rape without the victim’s cooperation.

Police, according to Assistant District Attorney Kelly Gauger, have not been able to locate the woman for the trial. The district attorney’s office, however, presented two police officers and another witness who testified that they saw a man holding a steak knife while he had sex with the woman.

Willie J. Barkley, 39, is standing trial for first-degree rape, first-degree burglary and being a habitual felon. Woody Vann is representing him.

Durham Police Officer Joseph E. Harris told the jurors that he was on patrol on Feb. 14, 2012, when he was dispatched to a disturbance with a weapon at 1013 Clarington St. When he and Officer Andrew Wilkinson arrived at the duplex about 4:45 a.m., they approached the house and saw a man standing on the porch. He waved them over.

The man was Calvin Mitchell.

“Mr. Mitchell was whispering, ‘He’s in there raping her with a knife,’” Wilkinson testified.

The two officers drew their weapons, went into the house and then opened the bedroom door. Harris went around to the other side of the bed, and Wilkinson stayed at the corner of the bed near the door. A naked man was on top of a naked woman, and they were having sexual intercourse, Wilkinson said.

“The man had a knife in his hand,” Harris said.

It looked like a steak knife with a black handle, he said.

Wilkinson testified that the knife was pointed at the woman’s head.

The officers ordered the man to drop the knife and get down on the floor. He did. They handcuffed him.

The woman was still on the bed, Harris said. “She pulled the covers back over her after we ordered him off of her. She was also crying,” he said.

When Mitchell testified, he told the jury that, at the time, he was addicted to crack, and that a man he knew as “Black” let him live in the house for free. Black paid all the utility bills, and it was Mitchell’s job to sell crack for Black at the house. Photographs of the exterior and interior of the house showed a fairly neat and well-kept home.

Mitchell also testified that he had been convicted of manslaughter and for rape in the past 10 years.

“I have a very bad record,” he said. Later he said that he’s been in treatment and is now living in a halfway house.

Mitchell testified that he was in bed that night when the woman came in the house. She sometimes slept on the couch at the house, he said.

He had fallen back asleep when he heard a large boom, which was the sound of the door being kicked in and hitting the wall, he said.

Barkley burst into the bedroom and stabbed the bed with a knife and said, “Old man, don’t move,” Mitchell said.

Barkley made the woman come out of the bathroom, he said.

“He grabbed her and pulled her for a second and made her start taking her clothes off,” Mitchell said.

Barkley ordered him out of the bedroom, so he went into the living room, but Mitchell said he saw Barkley push the woman down on the bed and begin raping her.

Someone outside the house apparently saw Barkley kick in the door and called 911. Mitchell testified that he saw the police cars arrive, so he ran outside to tell them that a woman was being raped in the bedroom. 

Gauger showed the jurors photographs that showed the front door had been damaged and pulled out of its frame.

Vann questioned Mitchell about why he didn’t call the police when Barkley broke in the house and began raping the woman.

“So you’re the only drug dealer in Durham that doesn’t have a cell phone?” Vann asked.

The trial is expected to continue Wednesday morning.