‘Fighting to breathe’: Woman who accuses murder suspect of rape takes the stand in his trial

Disclaimer: Some of the testimony presented Tuesday in court could be disturbing to some viewers

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Through tears, the woman accusing a murder suspect of rape took the stand for the second day of the trial.

Day two began with gripping testimony from a woman who says 43-year-old Michael Ebong drugged and raped her.

Ebong is also on trial for two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of 36-year-old Sheena West and 30-year-old Kelsey Paton.

10 On Your Side will not name the woman who testified publicly, so we’ll just refer to her as “A.”

For over an hour, “A” told a jury that she went out for drinks with friends on a Saturday night. The last place she remembers being at is Seaside Raw Bar.

She then remembers waking up in a dark little apartment lying next to Ebong, who she said she doesn’t remember meeting the night before.

“A” says she also remembers feeling extremely sick, as if she was under the influence of multiple drugs. She said she went in and out of consciousness often and at times felt herself not breathing.

Wiping away tears, she says she remembers him taking advantage of her and said she was “fighting to breathe.”

“A” says Ebong spoke to her that day about how they allegedly met the night before and says he told her where he gets his drugs.

Later that day, she convinced him to take her home.

“A” says she didn’t go to the police right away because she didn’t know his name or where he was. 

It wasn’t until news broke of Kelsey Paton’s death in July 2021, almost two months later, did she tell police what happened.

Two forensics experts also took the stand after “A”. One said they found alcohol, heroin and lethal amounts of fentanyl in West’s and Paton’s bodies.

Another expert said they found Ebong’s DNA inside all three women.

The Commonwealth has not yet presented evidence explaining how the drugs got into West’s or Paton’s systems.

The trial could wrap up as early as Thursday.

Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.

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