D'Nayza Downing

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D’Nayza Downing

By Erin Smith

A second person has been sentenced for the shooting death of Darrell Council n 2015.

D’Nayza Downing pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact to first degree murder. She was sentenced by Judge Young on Wednesday afternoon to a minimum of 65 months and a maximum of 90 months active with credit received for time served. She has been in jail for about two years.

Bladen County Assistant District Attorney Quentin McGee told the court Downing had fulfilled some of the requirements contained in her agreement with the court. McGee said she had already testified in one case and has agreed to testify against the other two defendants in the case.

McGee also told the court the Council family had been notified the sentencing was taking place. They were not present in the court room.

Her attorney, J. B. Lee of Whiteville, said, “She was to testify against a second co-defendant but that case was put off to April. Instead of sitting in jail, she can begin earning ‘good time.’”

In August, Downing accepted a plea arrangement and agreed to testified against Montise Mitchell. Mitchell was the first of the four individuals arrested to be tried in the murder of Darrell Council.

Downing testified against Mitchell during his August trial regarding his role in the shooting of Darrell Council near the intersection of Center Road and Twisted Hickory Road. Mitchell received a sentence of life without parole for his role in the shooting.

Still awaiting trial in the Council shooting are Christopher Baldwin and Shanika Mitchell. Their cases are expected to be tried in April 2018.