WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The man charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Christopher White at Jungle Rapids in October made his first appearance in a New Hanover County courtroom Monday afternoon.
Paris Dimitri Duncan, 21, is charged with first-degree murder as well as possession of a firearm by a felon and conspiring to sell marijuana.
A judge set Duncan's bond at $500,000 during the initial appearance and prosecutors announced they will not seek the death penalty. His next court appearance will be Jan. 4.
"I want to tell the family I'm very sorry for what happened," Duncan said to White's family, who was visibly upset. "It isn't what it seems. The truth will come out."
Officials with the Wilmington Police Department believe White was shot to death after a drug deal went bad in the parking lot of Jungle Rapids on Oct. 18.
"I think and dream about it every day and night," Duncan said as he stood in the courtroom handcuffed and alone.
Last week, police announced Duncan and three other people were charged in connection with the killing.
Steven Martinez, 20, and Christopher Hallman, 16, are both charged with conspiring to sell marijuana. Collin McElreath, 17, was charged with felony obstruction of justice and possession of a firearm by a minor.
According to court documents, White went with McElreath and two others to the Jungle Rapids area to buy marijuana from Duncan, Martinez, and Hallman.
While attempting to buy marijuana, Duncan shot White inside Martinez's vehicle, according to the document. Martinez and Hallman confirmed Duncan shot White, the document states.
After the shooting, McElreath called 911 using White's phone, but when a friend of White's mother happened upon the scene, McElreath left, according to the document.
White was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Two days after White's murder, Duncan was incarcerated at Polk County Correctional Institution after his probation on a prior speeding to elude arrest charge was revoked.