Natallnews just published what I thought was an updated report on the investigation into the murder of 12-year-old Emily Elizabeth Haddock, but it turned out to be a report from December 2007, which is the last time I've heard anything about the case. The September 21st anniversary date is less than one month away, and the wheels of justice are turning slowly.
My curiosity piqued, I Googled her name, and it turns out there's been some movement on the case since that time. In my last post on December 26th, 2007, I reported that the state was preparing to seek the death penalty against one of the five perpetrators, Michael Currie. Since that time, ThePilot.com (Southern Pines, NC) reported on May 29th, 2008 that the state is now seeking the death penalty against both Currie and Sherrod Nicholas Harrison after courts ruled that this could be done under what's called "Rule 24". The state will not seek the death penalty against Van Roger Smith because of his youth, nor will seek the death penalty against either Perry Schiro or Ryan White, because those two are no longer believed to have participated in the break-in and shooting of Haddock. Investigators say the evidence now indicates that only Currie, Harrison, and Smith actually participated in the crime. Here's the list of suspects and their charges:
(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.
The suspects allegedly broke into Emily's Vass home on Marks Road in an attempted burglary. She was home from school that day because she was sick. Emily was shot several times with a .22-caliber handgun when she apparently surprised the intruders. Click HERE to review all previous posts on this case.
Schiro's involved because the gun used in Haddock's murder was found in the trunk of his car, and investigators said they had found information appearing to link him with other suspects in the case. It's now unclear what role White played, since investigators question whether he was involved in the break-in. But even though they won't receive the death penalty, Schiro, White and Smith, if convicted on their charges, could be sentenced to life in prison. All five are still being held without bond in the Moore County Jail.
In North Carolina, death cases, upon conviction, go into a second phase where the same jury considers mitigating and aggravating factors before recommending life without parole, or death. The jury recommendation on life or death is binding on the court.
Opinion: It's despicable that these punks haven't even gone on trial yet. It's obvious that Currie and Harrison are the heavies in this case. They should have been executed months ago.
What's just as bad is that the national media never picked up on the story. Had it been five whites accused of killing a black girl, the media would have turned it into another Jena.