Latara Ramseur told the court Monday that she has not had a great day since her sister Deidra and Deidra’s boyfriend Mark Wilson were shot and killed in their Claremont home in March 2016.
However, for Latara Ramseur and her mother Teresa Rippy, Monday was a great day.
It was the day a jury convicted 28-year-old Hickory resident Jordan Rivera of accessory before the fact to the murders of Wilson and Deidra Ramseur, who was Rivera’s cousin.
Rivera avoided conviction on first-degree murder, the highest charge he faced.
He was also found guilty of aiding and abetting first-degree burglary, aiding and abetting robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
The jury began deliberating on Friday and returned its verdicts Monday morning after roughly five hours of deliberation.
The prosecution led by Assistant District Attorneys Lance Sigmon and Sean Baetjer argued Rivera organized a group of men who went to rob and ultimately kill Deidra Ramseur and Wilson.
That group included Reand Rivera, Devin Ussery, William Powell and Arsenio Curtis.
Reand Rivera, Ussery and Powell pleaded guilty to charges related to the case last year while Curtis is scheduled to stand trial in July.
Jordan Rivera’s attorney Victoria Jayne argued that Rivera and Deidra Ramseur had been reconnecting in recent years and he had no reason to want to harm either Ramseur or Wilson.
Superior Court Judge Athena Brooks imposed two life sentences for the accessory charges, as well as a lesser prison term for some of the other charges.
Prior to the sentencing, Rippy and Latara Ramseur spoke on behalf of the victims’ families. Their remarks combined both grief and gratitude for the outcome of the trial.
There was also anger, both over the loss of the victims and over the perceived smugness they said Rivera displayed throughout the trial.
“We had to watch people laugh, show no remorse,” Latara Ramseur said. “Like they didn’t have a care in the world and today I finally seen some people thinking about life, thinking about their life today after the fact.”
She added: “I wish nothing good for you or the co-defendants.”
At one point in her remarks, Latara Ramseur turned to Rivera’s mother Tonya: “Baby, don’t cry. You still get to see your son. You’ve got two mothers that will never see their kids again.”
Tonya Rivera did not speak before the court but said during a break that she was sorry for the pain the victims’ families had suffered.
Jordan Rivera also spoke briefly.
“I apologize if y’all feel like I caused this,” Rivera said. “End of the day, I didn’t. I still stand on that.”
He said he was pained over Deidra Ramseur’s death and never directed anyone to go to Ramseur’s house. Rivera apologized to his own mother and told her to keep her head up.
Jayne said she would be appealing.
Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.