BELMONT, NC — A man charged with killing a woman with a crossbow in Belmont will soon begin his life sentence.
A jury found James Rick guilty of murdering his cousin by marriage in 2019.
Channel 9’s Ken Lemon was in the courtroom last week when the woman accused of helping cover it all spoke. You would expect a woman to help her life-sentenced boyfriend, but Melinda Robinson said she had seen too much.
“I started screaming, ‘What have you done? What have you done, you killer?'” she said.
Robinson said in May 2019 James Rick, who also goes by Mike, suspected she stole money from him and became furious. She said he sent threatening text messages to her and her friend Joyce Rick.
Joyce Rick is related to James Rick by marriage.
Robinson said they were then lured to a house on Harmony Trail with the promise of a profitable drug deal. She said they were told James Rick was gone.
When they pulled into the driveway, with Joyce Rick driving, Robinson said James Rick suddenly appeared out of nowhere. She said he was just over a car length away.
“I can see in the light, Mike out. He had the crossbow,” Robinson said.
That’s when Robinson said she grabbed the gearshift and threw the car in reverse. She told jurors she leaned back as the arrow flew through her window and hit Joyce Rick.
“I looked and it fell on my shoulder,” she said.
According to Robinson, her boyfriend pulled out the arrow, pushed Joyce Rick and reminded her that he was in control.
“I’m not going to fall for this. I’m not going to fall for this. I will kill you and kill myself. You see what I am capable of,” she said.
James Rick’s attorney claimed he tripped and accidentally fired an arrow into the moving car. Jurors also heard testimony that he had texted death threats before the car arrived.
Robinson said James Rick made her follow him to Lake Wylie, but said she couldn’t see what he was doing in the dark.
“I said, ‘What did you do? What did you do?’ He said I put an umbrella over the gas pedal and threw his body in the lake,” she told the court.
Robinson, who was also charged as an accessory to murder, admitted she took drugs later that night and her memory was shaky.
“Very little. I participated in some of the drug use,” she said.
Prosecutors asked her if she clearly remembered the order in which she went that night. Robinson said no.
The defense said James Rick never intended to kill anyone.
Robinson told jurors what she saw was no accident.
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