WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A New Hanover County jury has returned a guilty verdict on second-degree murder against Anthony Pierce. The jury also found him guilty on two counts of a felon possessing a gun, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and guilty of evading arrest resulting in death.
Before the trial, legal experts had said a guilty verdict on second-degree murder would be precedent-setting in North Carolina.
Prosecutors argued by leading Wilmington police on a high-speed chase early on the morning of Feb. 18, 2009, his actions led to the death of Ofc. Rich Matthews. Matthews was responding as back-up to the pursuit when he swerved to avoid a box in the middle of Shipyard Blvd. and crashed his cruiser into some trees. He died from his injuries.
WWAY has reporters at the courthouse covering this story. We will have much more tonight on WWAY NewsChannel 3 starting at 5 p.m.