March 11, 2011
The trial of Tony Summers is ongoing in Guilford County.
The Robeson County trial of De’Ante Harris has been delayed, and there is no media update on the Columbus County trial of Danny Thomas.
The trial of James Earl Richardson is expected to begin next week in Pitt County. Richardson is accused of a 2009 drive-by shooting that killed two men outside of a nightclub in Greenville.
March 2, 2011
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.
February 28, 2011
Jury selection is complete for the trial of Tony Summers in Guilford County. Opening statements are expected this morning.
There is no word on the Ebony Watson trial in Lee County.
Two other capital trials are scheduled to start today, De’Ante Harris in Robeson County and Melba Slayton in Randolph County. The Slayton case is of particular note because the defendant is in her mid-70s. One has to wonder why the State would spend millions of dollars to seek the death penalty against someone who will surely not live to see execution.