In Lee County, Ebony Watson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder just as her trial was getting underway. Prosecutors had initially sought the death penalty.
In Randolph County, prosecutors also backed away from seeking death for Melba Slaydon and her son Ronald Gibbs. Slaydon pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and accepted a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Gibbs will not face the death penalty when he goes to trial later this year.
Meanwhile, the Tony Summers trial is continuing in Guilford County and jury selection has begun for the Danny Thomas trial in Columbus County. There is no word on the De’Ante Harris trial in Robeson County.