Testimony wraps up, judge decides on charges

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – After bringing Anthony Pierce's criminal history into the trial Monday, the prosecution wrapped up its case Tuesday and Judge Phyllis Gorham decided on charges.

A detective from the Wilmington Police Department has testified about the guns found in the case.  He said police discovered a loaded shotgun inside defendant Anthony Pierce's home after his arrest.

The detective also testified that the gun found along College Road was a .40 caliber glock.  Police were able to trace that weapon back to one of Pierce's passengers.  The gun was loaded with hollow point bullets, which are designed to expand when they hit their target to cause more damage than a traditional bullet.

During cross examination, Defense Attorney Andrew Waters was trying to determine if the police department did their homework on Pierce.

Detective Mayo testified Pierce had multiple forms of identification that showed his address, but the police didn't find a lease to verify he owned the home.  Police say Pierce lived with his wife, another female and a child.

According to Mayo, police found a rental car and $1,000 cash inside the home.  Waters suggests the money and the car were both to be used for a honeymoon planned for the morning after Officer Richard Matthew's death.

The next witness to testify was Will Walter, who is the man who sold Pierce 5 lbs. of marijuana earlier that night.  Walters testified he and two others met up with a GMC Yukon (Pierce) with the plan to sell the marijuana for $30,000.

Walter said when he opened the bag of money he realized $30,000 was not inside.  Instead, stacks of newspaper wrapped with just $170 cash were enclosed.  That's why he decided to follow Pierce.  When they caught up to the SUV, Pierce and two other men were arrested on the ground.  Police searched Walter's home after this incident and was arrested for drug possession.

After a week of testimony, Judge Gorham decided on the following charges:

  • Second degree murder, which will include an option for involuntary manslaughter
  • Operating a motor vehicle to elude arrest causing death, which will include an option for the lesser charge of fleeing to elude causing death, or fleeing to elude
  • Two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • Possession of marijuana with intent to sell and deliver, which will include an option for the lesser charge of possession of marijuana

Closing arguments will begin Wednesday morning at 9:30.

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