WECT Gary McNair talks about high profile cases making a stand - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

MTYT: Taking a stand with high-profile cases

The image in New Hanover County right now is that if you do the crime, you'll end up paying for it. The image in New Hanover County right now is that if you do the crime, you'll end up paying for it.

A successful advertising campaign for Canon Cameras back in the 90s used the slogan – "Image is Everything."

Well, if you believe in that, I think you can safely say the image in New Hanover County right now is that if you do the crime, you'll end up paying for it.

In the past couple of years, District Attorney Ben David has pursued murder charges in two high-profile cases.  In both situations, even veteran court observers called it ambitious.

The first involved Anthony Pierce.  He was leading police on a chase through the city one morning.  Officer Rich Matthews was in pursuit to "join" the chase, crashed his car and died.  David pursued a second degree murder charge against Pierce.  And a jury agreed.

And this last month, David tried to go for a second degree murder charge against Thomas Grooms, who drove drunk one morning and hit and killed bicycle riders David and Trey Doolittle along River Road.  In both instances, David was very good at convincing the juries that these crimes deserved a hefty penalty.

Will the Grooms verdict end drunk driving?  No. But at least it's good to know that people who do things like this will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.   And as a side benefit, maybe the track-record of our district attorney's office will deter additional heartbreaking tragedies like this. 

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.


Emailed comments from viewers:

My hope is definitely that last week's trial outcome will save other mother's like me from the loss my family and I will feel the rest of our lives. As I have said, there was nothing happy about the day the jury found Mr. Grooms guilty, nothing to celebrate at having yet another family missing someone at their Easter or Christmas celebrations. However, we all do eventually pay the consequences of our actions, something I told my 12-year-old twin sons when I returned to Charlotte after the trial.

Society doesn't really support that mindset much anymore as poor behavior on so many levels has become more and more acceptable.  There seems to almost always be a way out, a loop hole. I am far from perfect and unable to cast the first stone in many instances, but at some point we will have to return to the basics or there will be nothing left for which to fight. I am very anti "career politician", as even my children can attest, but I say let the DA's office create a record worth repeating until the message is heard. I wish Ben David a long and community-changing career.


In response to today's report about john David's convictions in two murder cases, I agree the drunkard who ran over the bikers on the river road I support the decision 100%. On the policemans death while in persuit of the running suspect during the high speed chase, I regret the officers death, but cannot see how it is entirely the suspects fault. If he, the suspect threw the box out on the road and the officer could not avoid hitting it, he was obviously out driving his headlights, I see junk lying in traffic lanes every day, If I wreck my car trying to avoid it, is it the fault of the person who threw it out or mine for driving too fast for conditions. If the officer was in plain sight of the runner when the package was thrown out to purposely cause the police car to crash, that is a different situation, but if the package was thrown out previously, and the officer was not even in sight of the runner, how can he be charged with murder. Just saying, if the officer had lived, and I'm sorry he didn't, what would the charge have been, littering?

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