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Jury deliberates in Pierce case

READ MORE: Jury deliberates in Pierce case

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The fate of Anthony Pierce is in the hands of the jury. Pierce is accused of second degree murder in the death of Wilmington police officer Rich Matthews last year.

It was standing room only inside the courtroom today as dozens heard closing arguments before the jury makes its big decision. District Attorney Ben David got right to the point by explaining to the jury why Pierce should be found guilty of murder.

"Find this defendant guilty of eluding arrest, and find him guilty of causing the murder of Rich Matthews," David said.

Back in February 2009 Wilmington Police tried to pull over Pierce. Pierce took off, and he and his passengers allegedly threw packages of marijuana from their SUV. A call for help went out, that's when Ofc. Matthews sped down Shipyard Blvd.

Matthews never made it. He died when he crashed into a tree while trying to avoid a box in the road. The prosecution argues Pierce's actions caused Matthews's death.

"There is no way that as I stand here and as you sit there that I can tell you to void from your mind that a Wilmington Police officer is dead," defense attorney Andrew Waters told the jury. He spent more than two hours on his closing arguments. Waters spent much of his closing on the police department's policy manual pointing out that rules in that manual were broken, on the night officer matthews lost his life.

Now that closing arguments are done, Pierce and family and friends from both sides, will wait to see how the 12-member jury will decide.

The jury will decide whether to convict Pierce on second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter. They will also decide on a gun charge and a drug charge.

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It is the duty of police

It is the duty of police officers to make the roads safe for those who pay their salaries. If this includes stopping to pick up something in the road, that is part of his job. I have seen State Troopers do this many times. I saw one pick up a ladder from I-40 some time back. I have also seen city police drive around obstructions in the roadway and keep going. If someone had removed this box, which I understand had been there a long time, the officer would probably be alive today.

Pierce case...

A tough case for the State.. But the way District Attorney presented it in his closing argument, it shouldn't be a tough case for the Jurors. For those of you that live the life always on the run, I hope you know we as a community have a District Attorney that will weigh all the facts and seat 12 in the box to decide your fate. Watching this District Attorney present his case was an experience that I will not soon forget, he is an asset to the community in which he serves.

Great job Mr. David, thank you for what you do.

A simple citizen...

Take finger prints off the

Take finger prints off the box and charge them long that box was in the road it..other cars seen it mean to tell me that box was in the middle of the road all day and morning....I understand a officer lost his life but the box in the road all day and morning....charge him with the crime that money at work to bring Phil police to Wilmington is little to much.....I respect Wilmington Police but we all must fellow rules too

The box was in the road all day???

Wow..I didnt know you mean to tell me that no patrol cars rolled down shipyard blvd the entire day..where were they if not one single car rode down the street..Mr. defender..I hope you pulled the records of all police cars that patrol that day to see if any came down shipyard and did NOT move the box..what a shameful display of taxpayers monies being wasted!! I feel for you Mr. are not getting a justifed trial at all!!


OK, so the box was in the road all day!!!
What makes it the responsibility of a LEO to pick up the trash of others...why can't you get off your lazy butt and go pick up the box.
I guarantee hundreds of people saw the box in the road and you are griping because a LEO didn't get out and pick it up...WAH WAH WAH!!

No wonder Americans are so FAT and unable to take care of themselves...we expect the LEO to do it. Well while they are picking up your trash why don't they just stop inside and wipe you butt too????


um DUH???

the box caused the officer to hit a tree which if you learned this in school is the main idea of this argument..if the box wasnt there, would he have gotten into an accident? hmmm maybe I couldnt pick up the box because I DIDNT DRIVE DOWN THE SAME ROAD AS THE OFFICER that day..and what does fat americans have to do with this LOL? Please dont quit your day job and make debating full time because you sound real ridiculous right now!!