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Anthony Pierce charged with second-degree murder for Officer Matthews' death

READ MORE: Anthony Pierce charged with second-degree murder for Officer Matthews' death
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After two days of testimony and deliberation, a New Hanover County grand jury has indicted Anthony Pierce on murder charges in connection with the death of Wilmington police officer Rich Matthews. The charges are second-degree murder under the intent of malice. On top of felony charges of fleeing to elude arrest, Pierce was charged with possession and intent to sell and deliver marijuana, and possession of a firearm. "We are very pleased to take this case forward, and if we have to fight to make precedent in this state, frankly we believe this is a fight worth having,” said District Attorney Ben David. Second-degree murder charges are now a reality for Anthony Pierce. It took the grand jury two days of hearing testimony and asking questions to reach this decision. "It's our job to present the facts, and we leave it to the grand jury to decide what the facts are, and anytime they can come up with a decision on that, we are pleased with that,” said Corporal Joseph Fitzgerald of the WPD. Second-degree murder charges under "implied malice" means the state will claim Pierce intentionally engaged in reckless behavior to put another life at risk. In this case, that life was officer Rich Matthews. The prosecutor’s theory is, if Anthony Pierce had stopped for the officers pursuing him, they wouldn't have needed to call for back up. A 25-page brief written by DA Ben David stated Matthews was traveling about 100 miles per hour when he crashed on his way to assist other officers. The brief outlines other important facts in the case, all which were compiled by officers like Corporal Fitzgerald who helped with the reconstruction of the accident. Pierce made his first appearance in court today since the new charges. His bond was set at $750,000. Judge Gessner appointed Walter Smith from the Public Defender's Office to represent Pierce in this case.

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Just heard it on

Just heard it on TV..........Anthony Pierce was never on Shipyard Blvd. He did not throw any box from his vehicle. The box was apparently already there. I guess now the police will try to find out who lost/threw the box out and charge them with murder. This situation is getting more ridiculous by the day.

I thought the law read that

I thought the law read that if you contributed in any way toward the end resulting in your own death, the other party couldn't be held responsible. Isn't this the reason given when drug dealers are not held responsible for others' deaths? Which brings me to my next question. Isn't the sale of heroin considered a felony? Please, somebody clear this up.

EXACTLY!!!

Yes, just think about your auto insurance in NC... NC is a 1% negligent state, so if you had even 1% to do with an accident, and the real person at fault had 99% to do with it, that 1% you did pretty much gets them off the hook. Since this was an auto accident, it really should be left to the ins companies to dispute, but seems like we want to make an example of this guy. Put him away for the drugs & trying to run from the cops, HELL YES! But the cop died because he was not driving within the guidelines/laws he himself is supposed to protect/uphold. Yes it's a terrible thing, and a shame he's gone, but this is what happens when you loose control of your vehicle when driving like that.

Why is the same outrage not

Why is the same outrage not apparent when a LEO shoots through a door and kills a man in his own home? When an inmate is beaten to death in jail, a man who does not undertand English gunned down while reaching for his ID? When an officer not responding to a call drives 75 mph in a 55 mph zone? I think we all are tired of the double standard for police/civilians. The LEOs should go out of their way to set examples, especially for our young people. Seems like whenever a LEO runs afoul, there are never any consequences. But, let a civilian do the same thing, the legal community goes after him/her with great zeal. I think all the negative comments on this particular thread concerning the WPD and Officer Matthews, comes from the fact that most folks just want a fair shake, and it is not happening anymore.

No similar outrage BECAUSE....

There is no similar outrage because you're comparing apples to oranges. Law enforcement officers have to face all kinds of life-threatening situations whenever they are on duty. Try to think of it like this, if you will: I can easily put out a burning cigarette by simply running water on it...and though I'd be extinguishing a flame, could you call me a firefighter? Are you outraged that our men and women in the armed services have killed people during acts of war? I'm not. If someone is willing to attack an ARMED OFFICER or give them solid reason to believe an attack is imminent, do you really think they would have any problem whatsoever coming after you or me? Our law enforcement officials are asked to do so much for all of us, up to and sometimes including sacrificing their own lives. Unless you're a cop, I doubt very seriously that your job requires the same thing from you. Even when it comes to fire or EMS response, LEO's are FREQUENTLY called in to go into a situation and clear it as "safe" for fire and EMS to proceed in. Again, unless you're a cop, you really have no concept of what it's like to be on one side of a door, preparing to face someone on the other side who is a KNOWN criminal that is KNOWN to be armed. Put yourself in that person's shoes for just a moment: You honestly believe that what is on the other side of that door could very well be the difference between you going home to your loved ones at the end of your shift OR your Sergeant going to your home to advise your loved ones that you have died as a result of performing your job. If I was that officer, I too would do what I had to in order to ensure that I go to my home that night instead of to the morgue. Bottom line on your example: If Peyton had been a law abiding citizen who understood that society has rules that MUST be adhered to in order to avoid negative consequences, NONE of that would have happened. Because of the magnitude of what our officers and deputies face each time they are on duty, I'm MORE than willing to give them some leeway because they are doing a job that I believe is necessary and because they are doing a job that I KNOW I am not cut out for. Thank God there are those who will try to maintain law and order in our society. Do YOU really want chaos and anarchy? Regarding your comment that there are never consequences whenever an LEO runs afoul.... SERIOUSLY??!? You DO know that the deputy no longer works at the Sheriff's Department as a result of the Peyton crap, right? And the officer accused of fondling a woman no longer works for WPD, nor do two other officers accused of using their service weapons in an altercation that occurred when both were not on duty and not performing in any official capacity for the city. On a more poignant and painful level...yes, Officer Matthews was speeding. Do you REALLY believe Officer Matthews got off scott free that night? NO, he did not, and neither should the thugs responsible for putting him in that situation in the first place.

NC Felony Murder

For a simplified overview of the law involving this person, look at ncfelonymurder.org. Paragraph "F" gives the basic reason for the charge.

ONE OF THEIR OWN

I THINK THIS FIRE IS BURNING TOO CLOSE TO HOME.THE W.P.D. IS LOOKING FOR JUSTICE AND BLOOD. I THINK I WOULD FEEL THE SAME WAY. ON THE OTHER HAND I DONT THINK THAT PIERCE HAD ANY DESIRE TO KILL THIS OFFICER. AND I THINK THAT HE WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH THAT FOREVER.I AM PROUD THAT OUR W.P.D. ARE HERE TO PROTECT AND SERVE. BUT WHY WAS HE DOING 102 MILES AN HOUR ON A EMPTY HIGHWAY? THERE WAS NO SHOOT-OUT OR HIGH SPEED CHASE.PLEASE BE CAREFUL, AND CAUTIOUS OFFICERS.MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE FAMILY.

I seriously wonder about people....

...who would jump to the defense of this piece of garbage and blame a dead officer who was in the performance of his duties. Meanwhile, I'd suggest that all you Clarence Darrows research the felony murder concept in law, which states that ANY death resulting from the commission of ANY felony is justification for an indictment of murder.

Funny

"Meanwhile, I'd suggest that all you Clarence Darrows research the felony murder concept in law, which states that ANY death resulting from the commission of ANY felony is justification for an indictment of murder."- CommonSenseNotCommonToday "Wilmington attorney Thom Goolsby said he agreed that David is “charting new territory.” While grand jurors only find probable cause that a crime was committed, the burden on prosecutors would be much greater to convict Pierce of murder." “In this case, you’ve got a situation where an officer is responding to another officer’s call,” Goolsby said. “He’s not chasing the car directly. It’s going to take a whole new tweaking of the law to be able to stretch it this far.” - both taken from starnewsonline I think I will trust the attorneys take on what this law is. I am pretty sure he understands felony murder concept better than you.

Now common

Remember common, don't get the liberals all riled up. We don't want to hear them crying.

What is the General Statute

What is the General Statute number?

Scopes

So would you say Darrow was not justified in defending John T. Scopes?

hey, welcome back common.

hey, welcome back common.

Mind Boggling

It is mind boggling how many people have come out in support of this criminal. The way it sounds a lot of you think his actions of running from the police was justified. It also sounds like a great many of you think the police were wrong to chase him. The only way to catch criminals is to be aggresive and go after them. Criminals don't care about the law they don't care who they hurt they only care about what they can get away with. It seems like the only one who complain about the police are the criminals and the ones who think the police should have no powers to go after the crooks. If you fall into one of these areas you should pack up and leave the country you scum bags.

well,gee i didnt know they

well,gee i didnt know they had robbed other drug dealers. how horrible. i mean the poor victims.......they should definately be nailed to the cross for that.i mean these guys worked there asses off to get their product and make the sales!and yes, lets once again make someone else responsible for someone elses decision to drive 100 miles an hour when they did not have to.

Wow, Pierce was doing up to

Wow, Pierce was doing up to 102 miles per hour, running stop signs, all the while throwing boxes of pot out the window. And he didn't wreck? Must be some driver. What were the other people in the car doing, nothing? If he had turned around and run Matthews off the road or hit him with his vehicle, that would fit the charge. What if there was no box in the road and he wrecked? Would you still say it was murder? Pursuit of a suspect does not give the police a free pass to drive recklessly, run traffic lights, etc. and they can be charged if they cause an accident during a pursuit. I realize every one is out for blood but not one poster on here calling for a murder charge would like it if they were charged for a crime they did not commit. It isn't a matter of defending this guy for anything. It's a matter of personal responsibility. His public defender will probably plead him out anyway. He probably won't end up with any more time than he would for just the charges he should have and the DA will get his political victory.

What about RONALD BERRY?

First of all, it is crazy to even think that the grand jury would indict him. Well if that is the case with the officer, what about Ronald Berry. Same thing, he was chased on Christmas day by police and he also struck a tree and was killed. Why aren't the officers in that case indicted for his murder.My sympathy goes out for officer Matthews but, doesn't Ronald life mean anything? Okay,an officer died. A LIFE is a LIFE!! This ought to make the Berry Family feel upset,almost that if their family members life doesn't matter! Just think about that!!! RIP Ronald Berry.

WOW...Berry...seriously??!?

Knowing that people like you live amongst the rest of us is scary. Seriously??!? You're comparing Ronald Berry with police officers, and the result of that comparison in your mind is that cops and that criminal are the same thing? WOW are you messed up in the head. There's a HUGE difference, freak show. Berry had committed crimes and was attempting to elude capture. The deputies and the officers were trying to stop him from committing any more of his illegal acts. Yep, you're right that Berry was a human life, and you're right that Officer Matthews was as well. One was building a life a crime, one was building a life around stopping crime. I'll take an officer ANY day over a criminal, so it may sound cold, but I just can't muster ANY sympathy for someone who CHOSE to live outside the laws of our society.

Are you stupid? Ronald Berry

Are you stupid? Ronald Berry was driving the car that killed himself, he decided not to follow the law. And that wasn't the first time either, good ridance.

Are you for real?

Why are the Officers not charged with murder? Because Berry ran, the police have to chase, if not everyone on here that are saying that Officer Matthews was going to fast; would be crying about the fact that the police let him get away, and besides who knows what would happen if they did get away. Its easy to sit back days,weeks,months, after the fact to pick at the actions the police make. Instead of saying that he was going to fast, or poor little suspect is just misunderstood and should get a second chance, stop and think that this is the career that we choose. We don't go to your job and tell you how to do what ever it is that you do, so don't sit there and tell us what to do. The day that the police stop doing what we do to make everyone happen is the day that "We" as police,Deputes, Law Enforcement officer gamble with the safety and lives that we swore to protect. I know all the arguments that will be made. Until you have done my job to not try to tell me how to do it. Remember; "we" are the ones you call. If you don't like the out come; don't complain to us, talk to the ones who make the laws. After all is said and done, no matter what you try to do; our hands are tied by the Laws of NC. P.S. for you that know, let the fun began with all the arguments we all have heard time and time again. Thanks for reading. "I would Know"

Guestleo......A life is a

Guestleo......A life is a life, whether it is a police officer pulling you for failing to signal a lane change or a construction worker building a new road or bridge to keep you and your family a little safer or the lineman restoring your power after a storm.

Worst Grand Jury Ever

I do not care what prior arrests the suspect has or what his intentions were when he fled from arrest. The poor judgment of an officer who was unable to control his car at high speeds led to his death. It was an accident. Here is a scenario for everyone who thinks this man is guilty of murder. A cop pulls you over. For whatever reason he suspects you are armed and calls for immediate assistance. An officer racing to the scene swerves to avoid running over something in the road and crashes his car. That officer dies. Are you to blame? No matter what the reason for pulling someone over that officer was ALSO endangering the lives of others by driving recklessly. Call him a hero for what he did leading up to that fateful day. But also call him careless and thank God he did not kill someone else. I am not saying a policeman does not deserve the protection of other officers but he does have to exercise discretion when behind the wheel of a car. If Anthony Pierce had no rap sheet would anyone be having this discussion?

Yes you would be to blame

Yes you would be to blame, be cause in this county, especially if you happen to be black, a gun would magically appear. But isn't that the path that "I want to be Governor someday" Ben David is going down here. And as far as liberals go, if you think that manipulating the law for your own political agenda isn't a liberal act, you don't have a clue of the American political landscape. And to honest, being a law-abiding citizen (white by the way) I am a little scared to stop for any law enforcement official in this county, I mean they shoot unarmed kids through doors in this county, don't they!

You are so pathetic it's

You are so pathetic it's sickening. Race had nothing at all to do with this incident. And just because you are white, doesn't make it okay to try and use the race card. And why would you be affraid to be pulled over by LEO? Not because of what you said, but because of all that illegal stuff (drugs, stolen items, etc) that you have in your car. I do agree with you about the DA though

you couldn't have explained it any better

I read your reply and compared to most, everyone is basically saying the same thing..However, I think you couldn't have explained it any better..everyone is expressing their opinion about the situation that he was not at fault...of course he wasn't..the officer killed himself because he made the decision to drive like a maniac and didn't know how to control his vehicle...they teach you that in driver's education class; how to avoid things in the road; just not at the ridiculous speed...

WRONG!!!!!!!

IT IS SO WRONG THAT THIS GUY IS GOING TO BE CHARGED FOR THIS POLICE OFFICER MISTAKE. HE WAS NOT IN THE CHASE. I NOTICE THAT BECAUSE THESE SPECIAL PEOPLE HAVE THE TITLE POLICE OFFICERS THEY FEEL THEY ARE BIG AND BAD AND DO UNNECESSARY SPEEDING BECAUSE THEY HAVE THAT TILE AND THE RIGHT.A LOT OF THAT IS NOT CALLED FOR.IF THEY FELT LIKE DRUGS WAS IN THE BOX WHY DIDN'T THEY GET THE BOX AND CHARGE HIM WITH THE DRUGS. THE STORIES ARE NOT ADDING UP AND I HAVE A LOT OF FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS THAT POLICE OFFICERS AND THEY FEEL LIKE THIS IS NOT FAR FOR THIS GUY. I'M SORRY HE LOST HIS LIFE BUT IT WAS HIS FAULT. NEW HANOVER FACE THE FACT THAT YOUR OFFICER TOOK HIS OWN LIFE BECAUSE HE WAS NOT IN THE CHASE. AFRICAN AMERICANS IS NOT THE ONLY ONES THAT SELL DRUGS EITHER FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT QUICK TO JUDGE. IT'S ALL RACES, AGES, AND GENDERS. RIGHT IS RIGHT AND WRONG IS WRONG. BUT I REALLY THINK THAT THIS IS WRONG THIS MAN BEING CHARGED WITH MURDER. YES THE GUY WAS WRONG FROM RUNNING AND HE SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR IT BUT NOT FOR MURDER OF A POLICE OFFICER CARELESS MISTAKE OF TRYING TO BE A RACE CAR DRIVER WHEN IT WASN'T A LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION. THE GUY NEVER PULLED HIS GUN TO FIRE AT THE OFFICER. YOU'LL NEED TO REDO YOU'LL POLICY TO LET YOUR OFFICERS KNOW WHEN IT'S NECESSARY TO PERFORM A HIGH SPEED CHASE.GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU!!!!

Keep in mind that regardless

Keep in mind that regardless of what we think there was obviously enough evidence to convince 15 people that this man should be tried for murder.

funny

Their are also 2 billion people in the world who believe the christian god created our world, had a talking snake in his garden, had a senior citizen build an ark that housed 2 of EVERY animal species in the world, etc etc. Point being, just because some( or a lot of) people believe it, it doesn't mean it is true.

No wonder you think like you

No wonder you think like you do...being an Atheist an all

And????

And that means???? I do not need a fairy tale to guide my moral compass. We as humans have evolved enough to understand that killing and stealing etc. are all bad things. I think like I do, not because I am an atheist, but because I am a person who can see facts for what they are. I live in reality, not candy-coated fairy tales