DA Not Accepting Grand Jury's Decision - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

DA Not Accepting Grand Jury's Decision

NEW HANOVER CO. -- The case involving former New Hanover County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Long and the death of 18-year-old Peyton Strickland is going back in front of a grand jury.

District Attorney Ben David says this won't be the last word in the Strickland investigation. A grand jury doesn't want Long charged with murder, but David says he will seek new charges.

He plans to present his case against Long to a new grand jury in January.

"I will not comment today on what any future charge or charges may be coming. To do so would be prejudicial and may damage Mr. Long's right to a fair process," says David.

Long told investigators he shot and killed 18-year-old Peyton Strickland while trying to arrest him for stealing two Playstation 3 video game consoles.

Long's lawyer says David should have let the grand jury's decision stand.

"How many other cases where there have been a no true bill returned, how many of those cases have been sent back for a second bite at the apple? Maybe there has been some, but we've not been able to find one," says Mike McGuinness.

McGuinness says the first time David presented the case he refused to allow Long to testify before the grand jury. That, he says, is clearly not fair.

"I have three words, 'let Chris testify.' He was there. He's a critical witness, and it's necessary for any grand jury to hear it from him, and in fairness he ought to be able to testify."

The North Carolina State Fraternal Order of Police is standing behind Long. The group released a statement Thursday saying:

"After carefully examining the evidence, the grand jury found that there was no probable cause for any criminal charge against Christopher Long. The grand jury should be respected. The grand jury decision should be respected. In routine criminal cases against citizens throughout the state, grand jury decisions are not second guessed; rather they are respected."

Reported by Kacey Gaumer

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