WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The man accused of killing Carlton Whitley made his first court appearance in a New Hanover County courtroom Tuesday morning.
Antonio Beatty, 21, showed no remorse as he stared, smiled, and even stuck his tongue out at the victim's family.
Whitley's fiancee, daughter, and sister were all present. They were furious about Beatty's actions.
"I feel like justice needs to be served. He don't care obviously. He showed that his self in court that he don't care, that he don't have no remorse for what he did, and he needs to be charged," Whitley's fiancee, Octavia Bryant said holding back tears." He needs to go down for this. This is not right. He took my daughter's father from her. She don't deserve that and then you're going to stick your tongue out at a five-month-old? She is a baby!"
Whitley's sister, Ebony Silman, said she is angered by what happened.
"He needs to be dead. He needs the chair," Silman said passionately. "He don't care, he killed a life and don't care."
In a jailhouse interview, Beatty said he was being taunted and that's the reason why he responded the way he did.
"I mean I'm upset myself, but they ain't have no right to stick their tongue out at me, they ain't have no right to stick their middle finger up at me. F*** y'all, they lucky I didn't do more than that," Beatty said.
Beatty's family had more of a remorseful tone.
"We know they are grieving and the person who stuck his tongue out to them in the courtroom, we do not know that guy," Beatty's uncle Anthony said. "We deeply apologize for that, but at the same time, I know my nephew and he's a good guy, never been in trouble before, never none of that. So as far as what happened we do not know, he did it for sure, but if he did it I can assure ya'll it wasn't intentionally his fault."
Beatty's family said he isn't completely responsible for the murder.
Beatty said he will plead not guilty. He added that he has two kids and is most hurt that he is losing them..
Beatty is charged with first-degree murder in the July shooting death of 25-year-old Carlton Whitley. Whitley's body was found near Metting Road in Wilmington. Beatty could face the death penalty if convicted. He will be appointed an attorney and is being held without bond.
Whitley's family said they will be at every court appearance and will do whatever it takes to get the toughest penalty.