Jailhouse phone call from man accused of robbery and shooting could be key evidence

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A jailhouse phone call from a man accused of robbing and shooting a Monroe couple could challenge his alibi for the crime.

That phone call could be a key piece of evidence in the coming days, though the jury has yet to hear it.

They were excused from the hearing Tuesday morning in which prosecutors successfully argued to admit the phone call into evidence.

The phone call came from Otis Howie Jr., the man on trial in the 2010 shooting and robbery of a Monroe couple outside a license plate office.

Howie had told investigators he was with the mother of his two children that night, an alibi she later refuted.

But in the phone call, Howie appears to threaten the woman to go along with his plan, according to prosecutors, saying, "You going to roll with me, or roll over?"

Jurors didn't hear that call yet, but did sit through nearly two hours of emotional, tearful testimony from a surgeon at CMC-Union.

Dr. Virgilio Ipapo testified about the horrific injuries Crystal Jordan endured from the shooting, with five different gunshot wounds to her abdomen, hand and ear.

Crying on the stand, Ipapo said, "She was very, very critical. We were surprised she lived."

Jordan herself burst into tears at his testimony, running from the courtroom.

Ipapo also told the jurors about the many touch-and-go moments during Jordan's recovery, saying, "I stayed there with her until the next morning. I never went home."

Jordan's husband, Robbie, survived two gunshot wounds to the face.

Late Tuesday afternoon, jurors heard testimony from a forensic scientist from the SBI about the gun that prosecutors said Howie used in the shooting.

Crystal Jordan is expected to take the stand in the next two days.