Crime

‘He was scared to death’: Friend describes call with suspect during Horry County killing

Horry murder: Trial starts for couple accused of bat killing

Lawyers outlined their case as the murder trial against James Rosenbaum and Diane Durkin started in Horry County. The duo are accused of beating Roy Davis with a baseball bat. The attack heard on a 911 call.
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Lawyers outlined their case as the murder trial against James Rosenbaum and Diane Durkin started in Horry County. The duo are accused of beating Roy Davis with a baseball bat. The attack heard on a 911 call.

As James Rosenbaum beat a man to death with a baseball bat, his girlfriend was on one phone and Rosenbaum was on another line with his friend Paul Allen Ridgely.

“He called me pretty much in a panic, saying something happened over at the house,” Ridgely said.

Rosenbaum’s girlfriend, Diane Durkin, was in the background talking to 911 dispatchers, Ridgely recalled. Though, Ridgely admitted, he couldn’t hear well because of background noise on his end.

“It seemed to me he was scared to death,” Ridgely said of Rosenbaum.

Ridgely briefly testified Thursday about the July 11, 2016, phone call during Rosenbaum’s and Durkin’s murder trial in Horry County.

Prosecutors say Durkin and Rosenbaum lured Roy Davis to their Conway area trailer. There they beat him to death with a baseball bat. Authorities say Rosenbaum was jealous over an affair between Durkin and Davis.

In July 2016, James Rosenbaum said he returned home to find Davis assaulting his girlfriend. He admitted to hitting Davis with a baseball bat, an act he says was in self-defense.

The defendants say Davis was trying to sexually assault Durkin before the attack.

Much of the beating is captured on a 911 call between Rosenbaum, Durkin and dispatchers. The duo takes turns talking with dispatchers and asking for police help. They also tell dispatchers that Davis was trying to rape Durkin.

Davis can be heard on the tape, pleading for the attack with a metal bat to stop. There also are repeated thumps heard when the bat hits Davis.

The 911 call was played for the jury earlier this week.

Ridgely was one of several witnesses to take the stand on the third day of testimony in the trial. Cell phone experts, Davis’ boss and others also testified.

On Tuesday, police testified about the blood they found in the kitchen, living room and other areas of the trailer when they arrived after the attack.

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Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.


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