Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homicide Day: Weighty day in court

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


  1. Congrats on launching the new blog. I will be following it.

  2. If the defendant pleads guilty, he's usually sentenced that same day.

    If they would only do this sure would save the courts and taxpayers lots of time and money!

  3. All killer no filler I guess.

  4. No one is guilty until prove in the court of law...
    I am pretty sure that the defendant's family members and peers pay taxes without conplaining, besides "thanks to all this prosecutors and defendants a lot of us have jobs."

  5. Line them all up against a firing squad and save everyone time, money and prison space!

  6. Not only do I think" ANYONE " who is in jail for murder should have NO constitutional rights anymore.
    I think People who have been found guilty by eye witnesses testimony along with DNA ,has lost all appeals & sentenced to death or life with no parole should just be executed. Save the tax payers time & money to keep them in jail and the trouble they may cause by associating with more killers & gangs on the outside.
    Violence in America is not just fighting anymore, it's gang warfare with money & drugs at the core.
    These are the scum of society and we don't need them with us on this planet threatening the life of others that live life in peace and morality. We have the right not to be subjected to having them with us.
    Either that or build a place like "THE ROCK' but out in the middle of the ocean on an island & let them fend for themselves. The money they would save on guards, food, utilities , taxes , insurance , & more would be able to be spent on the victims to help them get through things.

  7. Only god can judge us my thoughts and prayers goes out to both famalies im the little sister of Fisgerald Kilgo and our family is mourning as well. Hold your head high big bro.