Four of the five people accused of murdering Emily Haddock will face the death penalty, a Moore County assistant district attorney said on Tuesday December 18th. Stories filed by the Fayetteville Observer and the Dunn Daily Record.
In October, Moore County Assistant District Attorney Peter Strickland filed paperwork asking for a Rule 24 conference. The conference notified the court, the defendants and defense lawyers that his office would be trying Michael Graham Currie, Ryan Jermar White, Perry Ross Schiro and Sherrod Nicholas Harrison for capital first-degree murder. Currie is the first one who is being targeted for the death penalty; the other three most likely will be targeted during the January 7th Rule 24 conference.
Moore County sheriff’s deputies believe those four men and Van Rogers Smith Jr. broke into Haddock’s home near Cameron on September 21st by kicking in the back door. Haddock, who was 12, was home sick with strep throat. She was shot once in the mouth and once in the back of the head with a .22-caliber handgun during the break-in, according to police and autopsy reports. Her grandfather found Haddock dead about 1:30 p.m. when he came to check on her. The autopsy report tended to rule out rape, although there are indications from the separate crime scene report that she may have struggled and suffered before she died.
Moore County Sheriff's Capt. Richard Talbert told the Dunn Daily Record that White was in possession of the murder weapon but that investigators still can't prove who fired the weapon which killed Emily. "We still haven't got it pinned down," Capt. Talbert said. "We're not 100 percent, we're not even 75 percent sure who actually fired the weapon."
However, Capt Talbert reports that the suspects continue to be cooperative.
Last week, a Rule 24 conference was held for Currie, who is 18. Superior Court Judge James Webb granted Strickland’s request. Strickland said similar conferences will be held January 7th for White and Harrison, who are both 19, and Schiro, 20. However, if any of the defendants are found not guilty of first-degree murder, the death penalty cannot be invoked.
Smith, 16, cannot be tried for a capital offense because he is not 18, Strickland said. However, Strickland said that Smith will be tried as an adult.
By now, you're probably going nuts wondering WTF is a "Rule 24 conference". In North Carolina, the Rule 24 conference is an administrative device designed to clarify the charges against the defendant and to assist the prosecutor, defense counsel, and the trial judge in determining whether sufficient evidence of an aggravating circumstance exists for the State to seek the death penalty and whether the defendant is entitled to assistant counsel under N.C.G.S. § 7A-450(b1). A defendant does not gain or lose any rights at the conference.
When asked why the district attorney’s office chose to seek the death penalty, Strickland said, “Because of the evidence we have reviewed and the aggravating circumstances that exist because of the evidence. In her discretion, Miss (Maureen) Krueger felt capital murder would be appropriate for the jury to consider.” Krueger is the district attorney for Moore County.
Once again, here's a consolidated list of all five perpetrators and the charges levied against each one in a common source to prevent confusion:
(1). Michael Currie: First degree murder, breaking & entering, larceny of a firearm, possession of a firearm, larceny after breaking & entering, possession of stolen goods.
(2). Sherrod Nicholas Harrison: First degree murder, breaking & entering.
(3). Van Roger Smith: First degree murder, breaking & entering.
(4). Perry Schiro: First degree murder, breaking & entering, burglary, larceny, possession of stolen property.
(5). Ryan White: First degree murder, breaking & entering.
As previously reported, three of the suspects have prior criminal records and were on probation at the time of the crime against Emily Haddock:
(1). Nicholas Harrison was serving a concurrent 36-month suspended sentence, which he received in February 2006 for four burglary convictions.
(2). Michael Graham Currie was serving a concurrent suspended sentence for six crimes: Trespassing, simple assault, possession of stolen goods, unauthorized use of conveyance, breaking and entering and larceny.
(3). Perry Ross Schiro was serving a concurrent suspended sentence for five crimes: Assault, two counts of simple assault, possession of Schedule VI drug and possession of stolen goods.
Van Roger Smith has no prior criminal record, and Ryan James White has not been identified to have a prior criminal record as of this post.
These jokers all need to fry.