DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — On Monday, North Carolina prosecutors began to lay out the case against inmate Mikel Brady, who authorities say was involved in the deadly failed prison escape at Pasquotank Correctional Institute in 2017.
Brady could be given the death penalty if found guilty.
Prosecutors called one witness after another who talked about the chaos inside Pasquotank moments after the attempted escape.
Former Elizabeth City Police Officer William Davis got to the prison shortly after the call went out.
Davis had his body camera rolling as he ran in to help, and the jury got to see the gruesome scene.
He told the jury all he could smell was fresh blood when he arrived.
“I’ve seen a lot of stuff, but the one thing that has stuck with me from this case has been the smell and the odor,” Davis told the jury. “I don’t know if anybody has ever smelled it and I hope nobody ever does, but the odor was just pure blood.”
Most of the 26 minutes of video footage was graphic, filled with scenes showing staff members giving aid to the employees who were badly beaten and stabbed.
Davis talked about the moments when he tried to save officers, only to learn they were already dead. Their necks had been cut.
“Correctional officers and people were just plugging holes with gauze and wounds and stuff like that,” Davis added.
Prosecutors say four inmates including Brady set fires in the prison’s sewing plant before attacking staff.
“Everything was so smoky and the water was murky,” said former prison nurse Michelle Godfrey.
Staff went from one victim to the next hoping they were still alive.
“Her whole face and head were covered in blood,” Godfrey added about one victim.
Four times there was nothing they could do.
“I felt at first when I went to open her airway my fingers literally went into her neck on the left side,” Godfrey added talking about Veronica Darden. “That’s when I said her neck has been cut.”
Prosecutors say the inmates were captured outside. Brady is the first of the inmates to go on trial.
The trial is expected to take several weeks.