Cary News

Greg Brannon civil trial headed to jury

Testimony in the civil lawsuit against U.S. Senate primary candidate Greg Brannon ended Friday without the Cary obstetrician being called to testify.

Brannon and a co-defendant are being sued by two investors in the now-defunct company Neogence Enterprises.

The investors, who want their money back, said they were misled about the prospects of a deal with Verizon to pre-install on its phones a Neogence app.

Brannon spent the final day of testimony in the courtroom. He is a candidate with tea party backing who is facing a slew of opponents in the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate race. The winner will likely face incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan.

Most of the day was taken up with the questioning of David Kirkbride, a former company director and acting CEO, about the chances the app had to be featured in Verizon advertising and installed on its phones.

Kirkbride said it was always the company’s objective to get the app pre-installed on phones, but the first step was get a demo to Verizon.

Kirkbride testified that there was nothing inaccurate about an email that co-defendant Robert Rice sent the two investors asking for money and touting the possibility of the app being a featured application on Verizon phones. Rice’s email, which came after one Brannon sent to the investors, said the money was needed to create “the perfect demo.”

Though Kirkbride is not a defendant, he may have created trouble for himself with his testimony. While Kirkbride was under oath, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Steven Epstein, asked him whether he greeted Brannon in the courtroom with a bear hug.

Kirkbride, a licensed lawyer, repeatedly denied it.

After testimony ended for the day, Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins called Kirkbride back to the well of the courtroom and told him he saw Kirkbride hug Brannon.

Collins said he was considering holding Kirkbride in contempt of court or asking the district attorney to bring a perjury charge.

Closing arguments in Brannon’s case are set for Monday.