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Archive for February, 2012

Baber murder trial underway

Monday, February 20th, 2012

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — After more than three years in the court system a fatal drive-by shooting has now gone to trial. It was on May 8, 2008 that investigators found the body of James Murdock on Pineclair Drive in Calabash. He had been fatally shot in the abdomen. Detectives at the time of the shooting say as many as 30 shots were fired from an assault rifle. Murdock was in his car when he was hit in the apparent drive-by.

Monday, one of Murdock’s alleged attackers, 28 year-old Matthew Baber, had his day in court in Bolivia. Family members from both sides were also present but waited for much of the day outside of the courtroom as both the prosecution and the defense tried to seat the 12 person jury. During jury selection the prosecution revealed that more than two pages of witness have been called forward to testify for the trial. It was also revealed during jury selection that the death penalty will not be a punishment option if Baber is found guilty of murder.

The trial is expected to last several days. Proceedings resume Tuesday morning at 9:30.

More: continued here

City leaders question the wording in the baseball stadium petition

Monday, February 20th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Some Wilmington city leaders are crying foul over a petition to stop a publicly funded baseball stadium. They believe the wording is too broad and could jeopardize other events.

Josh Fulton is one of the Wilmington residents behind the petition. He says the petition has already been reworded once to specifically reference the proposed baseball stadium and if it had to be reworded again…

“It would be a disaster I mean, it’s such a pain dealing with all these modifications,” Fulton explained.

The current petition states:
“No city monies shall be used, either directly or indirectly, to fund any multi-use sports stadium for the purpose of professional sports and other events, including but not limited to a baseball stadium.”

The interim city attorney believes the phrase “and other events” is pretty far reaching and in a court of law, could be perceived to include Legion stadium.

“The Sharks baseball game. We could not allow them to do any kind of concessions. Same thing with the Hammerheads, 100% would have to come to the city. A lot of the time they use those concession to subsidize what the team is doing out there,” said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.

Fulton says it was never their intent for the petition to include Legion stadium or other forms of entertainment like the Azalea festival or Riverfest.

“I don’t think other people would think that,” said Fulton. “But if they project that image then it would make people probably less likely to support us.”

They currently have 150 signatures on the petition. If they reword it, they have to start all over.

If 2,882 Wilmington residents sign the petition, city council either has to approve the ordinance as it’s written, or must call for a special election and put the proposed ordinance on the ballot.

More: continued here

Names released in fatal car accident, friends react to death

Monday, February 20th, 2012

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a car accident involving a Southport police officer that left one person dead.

According to Highway Patrol, Joshua Wesley Gaughf, a Southport police officer, was headed north going toward Supply when he was rear-ended by a Chevy Tahoe sending him head-on into a minivan. The minivan flipped onto its right side killing its driver, 74 year-old Jack Ferguson Kirkland.

“Just a very tragic accident,” said Kirkland’s neighbor and Southport police officer Mike Simmons. “Something that you just don’t expect to happen, it happened.”

Gaughf and Katherine Hewett Cribb, the driver of the Tahoe, were sent to New Hanover Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Neither alcohol nor drugs played a role in the accident.

Hospital officials say Cribb was treated and released from New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Highway Patrol says she is being charged with a misdemeanor death by vehicle. Officer Gaughf is still at the hospital and is in fair condition.

As for Kirkland, neighbors say tragedy took a good person and even better friend Sunday night.

“He was a wonderful guy,” said neighbor Joe Amoroso. “He always knew what the weather was going to be. He was looking forward to spring, he said we made it through the winter and he said a couple more weeks it’ll be spring and he was really looking forward to it. I’m going to miss him.”

Co-workers of his at Lowe’s in Southport say they will miss his smile around the store.

“Just a great guy. I’ve never heard anything bad about him,” said Joe Carson, a manager at Lowe’s. “It was great working with him and we’re like a family here at Lowe’s and we’re going to really miss him a lot.”

Friends say there will be a service for Kirkland on Wednesday.

More: continued here

Optimism in numbers that show fall in area home sales

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Wilmington-area home sales fell nearly 7 percent from a year earlier in January.

More: continued here

DA says no charges to be filed in inmate’s death

Monday, February 20th, 2012

A man hanged himself with a blanket last year while being held in the Brunswick county jail.

More: continued here

 

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