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Pierce jurors watch video of chase

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- An emotional day inside the courtroom in the trial of the man accused of murder in the death of a Wilmington police officer. Today the jury watched more than 20 minutes of the dash-cam video of the pursuit Feb. 18, 2009, that led to the death of Ofc. Richard Matthews.

Jurors paid close attention to the video. The most obvious emotional reaction in the courtroom came from Matthews's mother. She wiped away tear after tear as the video played on.

The prosecution continued to argue its case that Pierce's actions caused Matthews's death. Matthews joined the chase, but died after crashing into a tree, trying to avoid a box in the road.

As the video played pierce also showed signs of emotion as he sat quietly in his chair glancing at the video from time to time.

"I feel for (Pierce)," said Tim Williams, who worked with Pierce as a trash collector for the City of Wilmington. He came on his only day off this week to show support for his friend, who he says is facing some tough allegations.

"He was already in custody when the officer was coming to the scene," Williams said, "so it's a raw deal."

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They are both victims of

Reefer Madness. It is time to review this unjust law and realize the sheer numbers of lives that could be saved or changed with this one act.

Cops out of control

The City Police are, especially the traffic units speed around town regularly. I observed 3 city patrol cars on Military Cutoff traveling with lights and siren These cars were in the inside lane, one behind the other. Now here comes a black mustang city traffic unit in the outside lane passing the other 3 cars. Speak of endangering the public this is a prime example. These Officers think the city streets are their personal speedway. I am sorry the Officer lost his life. But, they need to slow down so they can actually help someone instead of losing control of their vehicle at high speeds. Do not tell me I have no idea what I am talking about. I was an Officer in Charlotte 10 years. You ever heard of the "John Wayne" syndrome, the city is full of them.

pierce trial

i hope pierce gets convicted of second degree murder... If he wasn't out doing illegal stuff then this whole thing could have been avoided.... Officer Matthews was a dedicated officer who's life was cut short by some druggie thug trying to beat the system and get away..... It will be a sad day if pierce doesn't get convicted because if he didn't try and evade the cops then officer matthews would still be with us today

question

The other 2 people that were in the car, are they going to also be charged with the murder?

No

He was the driver.... he is responsible. All he had to do was stop.

chase

The way some of these comments sound leads me to believe they were posted by some of Pierce's clients. We know how you people operate. Trash sticking up for trash. I'm surprised that you can even answer the captcha at the end of the comments page.

Grow up! The public is

Grow up! The public is allowed to make comments on stories on this website. Just because you don't agree with the comments made here does not give you the right to call people trash. If you had a brain in your head, you would be writing a legible comment instead of bashing people for their opinions. I guess you have nothing better to do!

my opinion

legible: 1 : capable of being read or deciphered : plain legible handwriting
2 : capable of being discovered or understood

I do have a brain in my head; I just proved it. As for calling druggies trash, what would you prefer to call them ? Homie ?

(p.s.) don't ya just love it, freedom of speech

Really April?

because I disagree that this case is a WASTE of taxpayers time and racially initiated that I have to be a druggie or a homie...Pierce should pay the price for eluding the police, drugs in the car and go to jail but in NO WAY is he responsible for someone who was behind the wheel of a car that he/she was driving..My heart really goes out to the family of the police officer but lets be honest..if this was a white man who had done this, who we even be having this discussion..Im sorry but Wilmington is becoming so racially bias that its one step away from creating the 1800 race riot..We got to do better in this city of ours and come together as a community and stop setting precedants for only a minority set..I really hope that the police officer dosent get behind you and you take a second longer in pulling over and god forbid he gets hurt in the process because guess what, you will be staring down the judge as pierce in attempted murder.

take a second look....

I am sorry but I have to disagree with you on your racial comments. In fact, the racial bias that we experienced is completely the other way around. I know of a few students here in Wilmington who are getting bullied only because they are white, and small.
The racism thing is a two way street. I am REALLY tired of hearing people fall back on race as an excuse or way out. It does NOT matter if you are black, white, blue, yellow, etc. what is wrong is wrong and NO ONE'S race should even be mentioned.
We are in the year 2010, no one living today was a slave nor a slave owner...that was all of our ancestors...it is in the past and we need to look to the future without trying to use our race as an excuse. That is NOT classy nor just. I feel sorry for all the families involved and the thugs, criminals, gang members etc are the people who we should be upset with, for taking away our freedoms to feel safe on the streets of Wilmington. Lets put our focus on what is productive and help FIGHT crime..instead of focusing on the past of our ancestors.

Trial is underway!!!

There's no stopping it now, be it right or wrong. Just wait to see the results. As I read all of the posts below, with some blaming the officer, I shake my head in disgust.
The murder conviction may not be granted in this case, but let's at least have hope that the future THUGS of New Hanover county will think twice before endagering the public and our local LEO's in an effort to evade by high speed in a vehicle. More innocent people could have been killed with this and similar incidents.
So study hard, very hard, all of you crooks out there that think you're faster and smarter than the people that are after you! A big lesson will come out of all of this and if you have the chance of being even halfway literate, pay attention and heed!

Tim Williams

As is typical, the Star News chose to quote someone making an inaccurate statement. Mr. Williams claims Mr.Pierce was already in custody when the accident occured. Mr.Pierce was on the run when Officer Matthews responded. Had Mr. Pierce not been out and about dealing drugs-the accident never would have occured.

Sooo

what your saying is that if you are being pulled for speeding...and a responding officer calls for backup..FOR WHATEVER REASON..he gets in an accident during response...DIES and....HEY if you weren't speeding to begin with...he wouldn't be dead....I HATE THUGS...but unfortunately...the thug isn't responsible for this death...PERIOD. Had this officer been driving in a RESPONSIBLE MANNER...he would be alive today.

Nope!

No, that is not what is being said.
Because if a normal person was pulled over for speeding they would lead the police on a high speed chase.
That is where the story takes a different turn from your scenario.
This criminal who was trying to be pulled over took off and started a high speed chase (because he knew that he had drugs and guns in the car), therefore back up was needed.
Is he responsible, YES!

So now Mr. Williams knows

So now Mr. Williams knows exactly what happened, because he was there at the scene? The truth is that Pierce was NOT "already in custody" when Ofc. Matthews was responding. Thats what the defense wants you to think. Pierce was still eluding the police and dumping his stash of illegal narcotics. Maybe thats the "raw deal" he is referring to? That Pierce lost $30,000 worth of drugs and not that an officer lost his life???

thats just wrong

the officer who died was driving up to 100 miles an hour is what i heard? in wilmington city limits ? way too fast for the suspects violation.he was already in custody when the accident happened too? unreal.did he not know this??.you can't blame the death on the defendant.if he is convicted where will this blaming end.say a cop is eating his lunch and gets a call to assist. he runs out of the restaurant,crossing the parking lot to get to his cruiser he trips and falls down,hitting his head causing him to die. same thing. it's just wrong to charge the one being pursuded. and i'm a cops kid. my father died in the line of duty.his widow,my mother, agrees with me too.the defendant will pay his dues but not for MURDER.

that's just wrong

You being the child of a police officer should be ashamed of yourself. Defending this trash for causing the death of a police officer.

I AGREE

Thanx for seeing eye to eye John Rouse, The defendent did not make this officer crash his vehicle, car got out of control by speeding. Finally someone with some sense and not judging MR.PIERCE by his RACE AND BACKGROUND.

Come On

Let me get this straight - If you die from an overdose of drugs that I sold to you, it's not my fault because I didn't make you use the drugs?

don't think so

I don't think anybody here is judging him by his race. His background is part to this discussion and his trial. Some facts: He is a convicted felon. He was in possession of guns. He was in possession of drugs. He attempted to outrun the police. He is a criminal that is already on his second or third chance. How many more chances do we have to give him?

I CANT UNDERSTAND WHY THE

I CANT UNDERSTAND WHY THE MAN IS EVEN ON TRIAL. THE POLICE OFFICER WAS CLEARLY GOING TO FAST FOR DRIVING CONDITION, I THINK IT WAS 100 MPH WAY TO FAST FOR RAINY CONDITIONS, AND WHY WAS HE EVEN TRYING TO GET TO THE SCENE WHEN THE PERSON WAS ALREADY IN CUSTODY. MR. PIERCE IS CLEARY BEING TREATED WITH AN IRRATIONAL ATTITUDE OF HOSTILITY. BECAUSE OF THE POOR JUDGMENT OF THE OFFICER

It was not this man's fault

It was not this man's fault that the officer didn't "maintain control" of his vehicle and made an "unsafe movement". I am sorry for his family that this accident happened, but you can't say it was murder.

This is AN UNFAIR TRIAL,

This is AN UNFAIR TRIAL, THIS OFFICER DEATH IS NOT MR.PIERCE FAULT. IT WAS A HIGH SPEED CHASE THAT GOT OUT OF HAND. IF OFFICER KNEW CHASE WAS TOO FAST , HE SHOULD HAVE SLOWED DOWN. IF THIS WAS THE OTHER WAY AROUND WOULD THE OFFICER BE ON TRIAL? PROBABLY NOT, IT WOULD BE HIDE UNDER THE RUG LIKE OTHER RELATED CASES DONE BY POLICE OFFICERS. I DISAGREE WITH THIS WHOLE TRIAL. AND ANOTHER THING, HIS PAST CHARGES SHOULDNT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH 2010.

Oh Pleeeez!

First off genuis! Learn the facts before you post your comment!

I guess you must be a "CUSTOMER" of this guy!

The next time you're a victim of a crime maybe you should call the Ginger Bread Man instead of 911!

Remember that the next time your BABY DADDY goes up beside your head and takes off! Guess the Police will take their sweet time responding, then you'll be happy!

No...

This is not an unfair trial,,,this is about a loss of life and justice. Had this person not been involved in the commission of a crime, Rich Matthews would still be with us today. Many things could have happened that night, another innocent person could have died at the hands of this person. Consequences for actions. And yes,,,his criminal history is a factor and will follow him for the rest of his life.

AND

had Officer Matthews been driving his vehicle at a safe speed responsibly..he would ALSO be here with us today.

Police chase

My condolences are with the officer's family, however, there are so many innocent bystanders every year killed by police chases. Do the police care, NO. If they did they would stop the chases. But when it's one of they're own, it's a different story. The defendent did not kill the officer. He is in no way responsible for the officer's death. The chase could have been called off and then the officer would still be alive today. Also, did the defendent throw the box in the road that the officer swerved to avoid? NO. I believe the person at the Wilmington Police Dept. who authorized the chase should be on trial for the officer's death, not the defendant!

So police officers be responsible too..

If we start charging criminals for murder for police that lose their life pursing a suspect, then the same should be for police officers who causes an accident where a civilian dies due to the high pursuit..If you want to set precedant for these cases, they have to go both ways!

Nope!

If ANYTHING occurs because of a chase situation then the responsibility falls on the suspect period. No chase.... no problem....

Oh, Really?

Convicted Felon

So they should:

1. ignore the 2 guns in the vehicle?

2. ignore the marijuana in the vehicle?

Sammy Davis, Jr, I believe, set the tone in his song "...Don't dot eh crime if you can'nt do the time..."