ONLY ON 3: Victim, defendant confused about plea deal in attempted murder case


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A man charged with attempted murder and other felonies may get out of jail after serving just four years. The victim and the defendant both say they are confused about a proposed plea deal.

Rusty Randall has been in the New Hanover County jail since November charged with the attempted murder of his girlfriend. The past six months will count as time served on his sentence, and that has his alleged victim upset.

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Jessica Lucas says Randall shot her at a Castle Hayne home in November.

Lucas says Tuesday she got a call from an assistant district attorney telling her of a plea deal for Randall. Lucas says she is not happy and is confused why the attempted murder charge is not a part of the deal. She says the prosecutor told her there is nothing she can do about it.

Randall says he does not understand the offer either.

“I don’t know how it’s happening, they’re just doing it,” Randall said during an interview in jail. “They’re not trialing me. They’re not pleading me. They’re just charging me and giving me a plea offer. They aren’t listening to my side of the case. They’re not doing none of that.”

Randall says he did not commit the crime, but that there is nothing he can do about it.

He says he has a theory why he is getting the plea offer.

“To see if I take it, because if I take it that means I’m guilty of it, but I don’t want to take it, but I don’t have too much of a choice,” Randall said.

Randall says if he does not take the offer he faces 17 to 20 years at trial.

Lucas was scheduled to talk with us on camera, but she changed her mind after she says District Attorney Ben David called her. Lucas is set to meet with David tomorrow to hear the details of the plea deal.

David says ethically he cannot talk about specifics of the case. He said he and his office cannot confirm or deny plea negotiations are even taking place. He did tell us in general his office tries to keep alleged victims updated on cases and let them know when possible of possible plea deals.