Parole possible for Winston-Salem man who killed Chris Paul’s grandfather

Rayshawn Banner

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Winston-Salem man serving a life sentence for his role in killing the grandfather of Chris Paul will be eligible for parole in 12 years, a Forsyth County judge ruled Thursday morning.

Paul plays in the NBA for the Houston Rockets and is a former Wake Forest basketball standout.

Rayshawn Denard Banner, now 29, was convicted, along with his brother, Nathaniel Cauthen, and three other teenagers in the death of Nathaniel Jones, who was found bound, gagged and beaten Nov. 15, 2002. Cauthen and Banner were the only two sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that judges cannot give mandatory life sentences to juveniles. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that its previous ruling would be applied retroactively. The N.C. General Assembly also passed legislation requiring juveniles convicted of first-degree murder under the felony murder rule should have their sentences modified to life with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Under the felony murder rule, people can be charged with first-degree murder if they killed someone while committing another felony, such as robbery.

Read more: Winston-Salem Journal