DA releases annual report

In 2022, the Moore and Hoke County District Attorney’s Office closed 1,321 cases in Moore County Superior Court and 645 cases in Hoke County Superior Court, according to a press release from District Attorney Mike Hardin.

In Moore County, Hardin requested the district court begin to utilize a provision created by the legislature to allow the disposal of low-level felonies in district court to alleviate these cases having to be heard in superior court. The Moore office closed 352 felonies in district court utilizing this method bringing the total qualifying cases closed in Moore County to 1,673.

In 2021, after the new Moore/Hoke district was created, Hardin’s office closed 1,854 cases in Moore County Superior Court. Although 181 fewer overall cases were closed in 2022, in comparison, the prior administration closed 657 felony cases in 2020, 719 cases in 2019, and 601 cases in 2018. This is a 154% increase in disposition since 2020.

The Moore and Hoke District Attorney’s Office tried 11 jury trials in superior court in 2022, including a capital murder case that lasted several months. In 2022, the office worked to close cases of defendants held in custody.

Below are a few notable cases disposed of in 2022:

*Jaylon Dockery was charged with first-degree murder on Aug. 11, 2018, and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Sept. 8, 2022. He received an active sentence of 9.5-12.41 years active.

*Tillman Freeman was charged with two counts of first-degree murder after killing his two children on March 24, 2017. Mr. Freeman was tried in Hoke County Superior Court starting Jan. 31, 2022, and received two death sentences on April 19, 2022.

DA releases yearly report

Tillman Freeman.

*Richard Burdette was tried in Hoke County Superior Court for an August 12, 2017, for felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, felony hit and run and failure to reduce speed. He was convicted on Oct. 5, 2022, and received an active sentence of 60-84 months.

*Fernando Gonzalez was convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child following a jury trial in Hoke County on April 22, 2022. He received an active sentence of 15-27 months.

*Kevin Locklear was charged on July 27, 2018, with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and assault inflicting serious bodily injury and was convicted after a jury trial in Hoke County on Nov. 4, 2022. He received an active sentence of 25-42 months.

*Lloyd Stewart was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury on July 4, 2020, and was convicted after a jury trial in Moore County on Aug. 4, 2022. He received an active sentence of 6.91-9.33 years.

*Malik Crawford was charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder on Oct. 28, 2016. He plead guilty on  Feb. 1, 2022, in Moore County Superior Court and received an active prison sentence of 44-65 months.

*Gregory Gay was charged with first-degree murder on Dec. 2, 2019, after killing his brother during an argument. He plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter in Moore County Superior Court on Aug. 4, 2022, and received an active sentence of 6.66- 9 years. Gracie Wall was convicted of obstruction of justice in this investigation and received a 45-day sentence, suspended for 18 months of supervised probation.

*Sherman Purcell plead guilty to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and possession of firearm by a felon in Moore County Superior Court on July 28, 2022, for his role of assisting Willie Williams in the killing of Robert Davis on June 17, 2018. He was sentenced to 6.41-8.75 years. Jamie Dawkins also plead guilty to accessory after the fact to this murder on Aug. 11, 2022, and received an active sentence of 6.41-8.75 years.

*Patrick Stubbs was charged on June 21, 2020, with first-degree murder and pleaded to second-degree murder in Moore County Superior Court on July 27, 2022. He received an active sentence of 21-26.25 years. Edward Allbrooks, his co-defendant, also plead to second-degree murder on Aug. 24, 2022, and received an active sentence of 15.83-20 years. Laura McLean plead guilty to accessory after the fact to this murder on Dec. 13, 2022, and received an active sentence of 58-82 months.

DA releases report

Patrick Stubbs.

*On Nov. 9, 2022, Jeremy Scott Sheffield, appeared in the Moore County Superior Court and pled guilty to three counts of statutory rape of a child by an adult; five counts of statutory rape; three counts of statutory sex offense; nine counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Sheffield received an active prison sentence of 25 years minimum to 30 years maximum. Additionally, Sheffield was ordered to register as a sex offender for Life and enroll in Satellite Based Monitoring for a period of 10 years upon his release from prison.

*On Aug. 15, 2022, Terry Lee Hardin, (no relation to Mike Hardin) appeared in the Moore County Superior Court and pled guilty to two counts of statutory rape of a child by an adult; two counts of statutory rape; two counts of first-degree sex offense; one count of felony child abuse by sexual act and four counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. Terry Lee Hardin received an active prison s sentence of 38 and a half years minimum to 56 years and three months maximum. Additionally, Terry Lee Hardin was ordered t register as a sex offender for life.

Moore DA releases annual report

Terry Lee Hardin. 

In the district courts of Moore County, 15,714 criminal misdemeanor cases were disposed of in 2022, not including infractions. In the District Courts of Hoke County, 5,401 criminal misdemeanor cases were disposed of in 2022, not including infractions.

In the summer of 2022, the Moore County District Attorney’s Office identified 79 driving while impaired (DWI) cases pending in Moore County District Court with dates of offense from July 2021 or earlier.

Hardin requested the court schedule a special week of Moore County District Court to handle these matters beginning Monday, Oct. 17 and ending Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Fifty-five cases were scheduled for trial and 38 cases were closed as a result of the special session.

After being calendared for trial, 32 cases resulted in guilty verdicts. Six cases resulted in not-guilty verdicts. Three defendants did not appear for court resulting in orders for their arrest being issued. Overall, the week ended with an 84.2% conviction rate. This is the second year the Moore County District Attorney’s Office has conducted a week-long special DWI court to dispose of cases to prevent a backlog.

Additionally, this year, Hardin requested the legislature to allocate a new assistant district attorney position for the growing Moore and Hoke County districts. With the help of local legislators Rep. Jamie Boles and Sen. Tom McInnis, this position was created and recently filled.

Feature photo: Lloyd Stewart was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury on July 4, 2020, and was convicted after a jury trial in Moore County on Aug. 4, 2022. He received an active sentence of 6.91-9.33 years.

Courtesy photos/Contributed.

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