Haddock Defendant Offers No Defense
District Attorney Maureen Krueger rested the state’s case against Perry Ross Schiro, and his attorney Richard Roose told the court the defense would call no witnesses or put on any evidence.
Schiro hid the gun he knew Michael Currie used to murder 12-year-old Emily Haddock, the state alleged in a trial that began last week and would go to the jury this afternoon following closing arguments.
Currie pleaded guilty in a bargain that sent him to prison for life without possibility of parole. In a statement his lawyers offered the state — contingent on Krueger’s acceptance of the life sentence deal — Currie admitted to shooting the child twice when he and Sherrod Harrison found her during their Sept. 21, 2007, home invasion. She was out of school with strep throat.
The Haddock family has come to court for every hearing, every motion, sitting in a group in the courtroom. On Wednesday they left for a time as a detective showed the jury photographs of the crime scene. They returned to court once that part of the state’s case was over.
Ryan Haddock, the victim’s brother, was the last witness for the state. He entered law enforcement training after his sister’s murder, he told the jury. He’s now a police officer in Fayetteville.
He spoke of how it felt not knowing who actually killed Emily Haddock, and told the jury of numerous discussions the family had had with Krueger, prosecutor Peter Strickland, and others on the district attorney’s staff about the evidence in the case. Until Currie offered his proffered statement, there had been no clear evidence as to who fired the two fatal shots. By accepting that deal, the family could finally know what happened that Friday morning.
The family moved from their Cameron home where the break-in occurred. They now live in Spring Lake.
By choosing not to put on any evidence, the defense will have the final argument before the jury. Roose said he expects to take about 30 minutes.
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge James M. Webb had Schiro sworn and told him he had a right to take the stand and to put on evidence in his defense. He asked Schiro if his choice was not to testify.
Schiro said it was.
The jury was to return at 2:30 p.m. today to hear final arguments and Webb’s charge, then retire to deliberate their verdict.
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