Edward Wayne Burnett entered a plea of guilty to second-degree murder yesterday in Cumberland County. Burnett had faced the death penalty for the 2005 shooting of Damian Daughtry. Following his plea, Burnett will spent between sixteen and twenty years in prison. Burnett maintained his innocence, but said that as a father of three, he could not risk being executed or going to prison for life.
Hassan Bacote has been found guilty of first-degree murder, and a jury began deliberating his sentence today. Bacote, 23, shot Anthony Surles during a 2007 robbery in Selma. He will face either the death penalty or a sentence of life without parole.
New Hanover County has been given the green light to seek the death penalty for Gerard Altman, who has been accused of killing his mother and step-father. James and Laura Gallagher died of blunt force trauma this January.
One year ago today, Glen Edward Chapman walked off of North Carolina’s death row. Chapman had spent the last fifteen years behind bars for two murders he did not commit.
Chapman had last been a free man in 1992. The first George Bush was president. Cell phones and the internet were not in common use. Edward Chapman was entering a world he could hardly recognize, with nothing to show for the last 15 years and few possessions besides the clothes on his back. It seemed like a recipe for failure.
Today, Edward Chapman lives and works in Asheville, North Carolina. He has a full-time job at a prestigious local hotel, and rents a home where he lives alone. Chapman no longer struggles with the addictions that plagued him before his incarceration, and he is not bitter about the years he has lost. “I can forgive. Does it mean I have to forget? No, but I can use that as a lesson to teach someone else,” he said.
1 – Richard Boxley (PA – stayed)
7 – Brett Harman (OH – stayed)
7 – Jose Briseno (TX)
7 – Michael Rimmer (TN)
15 – Michael Rosales (TX)
16 – Jimmy Lee Dill (AL)
30 – Derrick Johnson (TX)