GRAHAM — Christopher Lee Neal, according to testimony in his attempted first-degree murder trial, has done a lot to make his situation worse, including prompting Social Services to look for a domestic violence protective order against him.

“Why would you do that?” Neal, representing himself, asked Rockingham County Social Services Director Melissa Kaneko on cross examination.

“You brought it to our attention,” Kaneko replied.

The alleged victim, Carliethia Glover, a Rockingham County social worker in 2017, was supposed to make a routine wellness check on Latanya Michelle Whetsell’s young children June 13, 2017, after the umbilical cord from her newborn daughter tested positive for marijuana. Whetsell, who had a history with Rockingham County DSS, would not give Glover an address until late in the afternoon and only when faced with the option of a court hearing. Neal, the father of those children, was angry and cursed when he spoke to Glover and her co-worker Emily Pulliam on the phone, according to their testimony, and chased them in his blue BMW SUV at up to 90 mph on the highway and through Reidsville that afternoon.

After that chase, Kaneko testified, Neal came to the DSS office and asked to speak to her. Glover and Pulliam had warned her Neal was coming, so she met him with another supervisor and a Sheriff’s Office detective. In that conversation, Neal told them Whetsell had made domestic-violence allegations of him chasing her in a car with the children unsecured in the back seat and pointing a gun at her while she fled in her own car, and that he had “beaten them at the courthouse.”

Whetsell withdrew the protective order the day she took it out.

All of which, Kaneko testified, obligated her office to investigate whether Neal was a danger to his children. That led to another confrontation when Glover and Pulliam, escorted by sheriff’s deputies, did get to see the children and confirm with Whetsell that she told the truth about the car chase and another assault and the children being taken from the home.

“If he had been cooperative it would have been fine,” Kaneko testified. “We didn’t come into this case intending to remove the children.”

After 11 p.m. that night, Glover was driving home on West Webb Avenue when, she testified, a blue BMW SUV blocked her in the parking lot of Glen Raven Pharmacy and two shots went through her car windows. Neal and Whetsell are charged in the attack.

Whetsell took the stand briefly late in the afternoon Thursday June 13 and testified that she had entered a plea bargain with the Alamance County District Attorney’s Office to testify truthfully in this trial. In exchange, she will face charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, but not attempted first-degree murder. Her sentence will be left up to a judge.

Neal was able to use testimony from Rockingham County social worker Jan Odum to support a claim that he was at the DSS office around the time Glover and Pulliam were calling 911 reporting the car chase. Odum said Neal confronted her outside the DSS office when she was leaving for lunch at about 12:15 p.m. June 13, 2017, roughly the time of the 911 call. Kaneko testified that she was told Neal wanted to speak to her at 12:48 p.m.

The jury will also likely see details of Neal’s federal convictions on crack cocaine and gun charges as evidence in the charge of possession of a firearm by a felon, said Assistant District Attorney Rick Champion. If Neal had admitted he was a convicted felon, the jury would not have heard those details unless he testified.

And Neal has simply made odd statements. Burlington Police Crime Scene Investigator Sara Barringer testified that she found “a silver colored projectile” lodged inside Glover’s car days after the shooting. Neal asked if she could be sure it came from the shooting since the car had been out of police custody for several days before her search. She could not. And then Neal asked how she could know it came from a bullet since, he said, bullets aren’t silver.

“We’re not killing a werewolf are we?” Neal asked.

And then “How many silver bullets have you seen?” Neal asked Barringer.

“Numerous,” she responded.

 

Reporter Isaac Groves can be reached at igroves@thetimesnews.com or 336-506-3045. Follow him on Twitter at @tnigroves.