Thursday is homicide day in Mecklenburg County, when the court system deals with some of its weightiest cases -- defendants who have been charged with murder.
The proceedings are held once a month in an administrative courtroom and don't include any murder trials that might be going on down the hallway at the Mecklenburg County courthouse.
Up first, usually, prosecutors announce which defendants they'll seek the death penalty against. They generally don't elect to put the defendants on trial for their lives.
Some defendants are scheduled to enter either guilty or not guilty pleas. Prosecutors often don't know how the defendants will plead until they arrive at court. If the defendant pleads guilty, he's usually sentenced that same day.
Here are some of the cases in court Thursday:
Akeem and Aaron Ashford: The brothers are accused of shooting a mother of six outside the northern Charlotte strip club where she worked. Prosecutors are expected to announce whether they'll seek the death penalty against the Ashfords.
Davon Landell Thomas: He is scheduled to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. He's accused of killing his girlfriend, Tigist Yemane. Yemane was an Ethiopian immigrant who came to the United States for a heart operation that saved her life.
Fisgerald Kilgo: Kilgo is scheduled to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty in the killing of Drew McDonald Thompson, who was shot in the parking lot of the Hilton Garden Inn on Statesville Road. Police believe the shooting was drug-related. Thompson's killing was one of five homicides police investigated during six days in the Spring of 2009.
Most of the proceedings are open to the public, and take place in courtroom 5350 starting at 9:30 a.m. -- Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Gary L. Wright