Man Arrested for Mother's Day Killing (after 3 years)


Man Arrested for Mother's Day 2006 Killing


Richland County (WLTX) - Richland County deputies have made a new arrest in the murder of a woman from three years ago-- a case where the woman's husband was originally arrested.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says 25-year-old Joshua Porch taken into custody and charged with murder.

Porch was arrested in Long Beach, California Wednesday. Lott says the man has confessed to the crime.

Deputies are working to extradite him back to South Carolina.

He's accused of killing 23-year-old Nakia Mallory on May 14, 2006 at her apartment on Pineland Road in Columbia.

Authorities say she was stabbed in the neck and hit on her head several times while the couple's children were asleep The coroner said she bled to death.

Originally, Nakia Mallory's husband, Justin, was charged in her death.

A trial for him in 2007 ended in a hung jury. In December of 2008, Circuit Court Judge Thomas Cooper heard the case without a jury, and found him not guilty.

"A lot of times, that would have ended it, but in this case, it was not the end of it," Lott says.

After the trial, Lott says Mallory called him, and the two talked about the case. After their conversation, Lott decided to reopen the investigation.

DNA evidence and other information led investigators to Porch.

Sheriff Lott stated that in June of 2007, DNA profiles found additional "foreign" male DNA profiles from the crime scene. Investigators determined that Porch was in the Mallory's apartment the day of the murder. However, interviews with Porch were inconclusive, and the solicitor's office proceeded with the trial against Justin Mallory.

Lott says Porch was a family friend, and had testified in both trials.

Lott says additional DNA searches were conducted on evidence recovered from the crime scene. Investigators found Porch's DNA on the victim's clothing. The finding further implicated Porch and contradicted his original story.

Lott says it would have been wrong to not review the case.

"It's about finding out the truth, and making sure the right person is held responsible," Lott says. "Justice has finally been done."

Justin Mallory and his attorney spoke to the media Friday afternoon. They said they they intend to work with the sheriff's department to bring Porch to justice.

"Today is like, deliverance almost, I don't know. I just cannot wait until this guy gets convicted and we can move on. This is closure for my family and my wife's family."

He said it will be difficult to explain all of this to his four- and five-year-old children.

"I can now say a bad man did something bad to your mommy but it's okay. She's up there in heaven and he's in jail forever."

He knows he will never get back the 14 months time he spent in jail, missing his wife's funeral and his daughter's first day at school.

"Made my relationship with God a lot stronger," he said. "I had faith in my justice system. I still do."

He recalled how open he had been with police at the beginning of the investigation, he said, offering up any and all assistance he could to the Richland County Sheriff's Department. Today, he said, "One day it would all be okay, I had faith in that the whole time."

"Words cannot describe the kind of torture that (the ordeal) was," Justin said last December. "I spent a majority of this time looking at pictures of my kids and my wife and knowing though I wouldn't be able to be with my wife again, I would definitely make it home to these kids."

Posted By: Tony Santaella   7/10/2009 11:34:46 PM