by Jordan Green
A High Point man who has had murder charges dismissed on two separate occasions dodges another bullet when the Guilford County District Attorney dismisses felony charges of assaulting a female and common-law robbery.
Nathan Wilson is the rare High Point resident who has had not one but two murder charges dismissed. Now Wilson has three additional felonies to add to his list of dismissals: common-law robbery, assault on a female and habitual felon.
Assistant District Attorney Matt Stockdale dismissed the charges against Wilson on Monday just before the case was set to go to trial after receiving an affidavit from the defendant’s former girlfriend and the mother of his child recanting her earlier accusations.
Last month, the 42-year-old Wilson was freed after spending 11 months in jail on a charge of murder, as chronicled in a March 4 Triad City Beat cover story. Gerald Williamson, who was 28 at the time, was shot and killed during a birthday party near the bar at the now-defunct Kenzie’s Event Center in the early morning hours of Feb. 28, 2014. Wilson was a suspect from the outset because of a recent dispute with Williamson, and the police said the venue owner identified the suspected shooter as “Goodfoot,” which is Wilson’s nickname.
Wilson was charged based on the statements of two criminal defendants, one with an extensive rap sheet for fraud-related crimes and a confidential informant who avoided a drug-possession charge in exchange for his statement. After DNA results failed to establish a match between Wilson and shell casings found at the murder scene, Stockdale entered a voluntary dismissal, meaning the charge can be reinstated if additional evidence surfaces. Wilson was also charged in a 1998 murder, but that case, too, was dismissed.
At the time Wilson was charged in Williamson’s murder, he was already facing the charges of common-law robbery and assault on a female from 2012, based on a statement made by Porscha Leak to the High Point police. In addition to being Nathan Wilson’s former girlfriend and the mother of one of his children, Leak was also a friend of Williamson.
Dolly Manion, Wilson’s lawyer, said Leak contacted her client’s mother saying she wanted to make a statement. Manion drafted an affidavit, and returned it to Stockdale with Leak’s signature on Monday morning. Leak had accused Wilson of punching her in the face and stealing her purse.
“She signed an affidavit recanting her statement, destroying her credibility for the prosecution,” Manion said. “She admitted she was the aggressor and said she didn’t know who stole her purse. She said she had not been pressured in any way by my client’s family to recant.”
Wilson might have served nine to 12 years in prison had he been convicted of the charges, Manion said.
Leak had told Stockdale that she felt pressured to recant her statement when Wilson’s mother approached her in the jury room at the High Point courthouse in January 2014 and someone videotaped her. The prosecutor made a successful motion to exclude the videotape from evidence.
Manion, in turn, filed a motion to exclude Leak’s testimony at trial, relating that Leak testified at Wilson’s July 2014 bond hearing that she doesn’t know who stole the purse and that “there were quite a few people in the area of the alleged robbery” other than the defendant. Following her testimony at the bond hearing, Leak went back to the gallery and sat down beside Wilson’s mother, Manion said. Manion argued that if the prosecution prodded to get testimony to the contrary from Leak, she might perjure herself.
Wilson learned of the dismissal before the trial was expected to begin, and did not appear in court.
Manion said the incident took place at a liquor house at the corner of Commerce Avenue and Thissell Street.
“Not everyone was drinking,” Manion said. “There were people in the backyard sitting on a picnic table. I don’t understand why the officer didn’t go to the house to interview the owner rather than take the word of the woman making this accusation. Maybe she wouldn’t have found anyone, but at least she could have tried. My client was alleged to have punched Ms. Leak in the face; if he did that you would expect her to have a black eye or a broken jaw or something. My client had a scratch where she nicked him with a knife. He’s fast. He was a high school football player; that’s how he got the name ‘Goodfoot.’”
Manion said Leak is a close friend of Wilson’s mother.
On Monday afternoon, Manion took the dismissal to the clerk’s office to get it certified so Wilson could have his electronic-monitoring bracelet removed.
“I admire Ms. Leak for coming forward,” Manion said.
“She and my client have a 5-year-old child who has a birthday this weekend,” Manion added, “and she wants her daddy to be there.”