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Mother remembers son killed in shooting near Cumberland courthouse

Posted December 18, 2014

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— This is going to be a very tough Christmas for Elizabeth Chappell. Her 25-year-old son was shot to death Wednesday afternoon near the Cumberland County courthouse.

“Never think it won’t happen to you,” she said.

Paul Chappell was shot while driving a Chevrolet Impala near the intersection of Person and Cool Spring streets around 4:30 p.m. He then drove a short distance and crashed into a vehicle parked in a lot at 235 Pearson St.

Three other people, including his 5-month-old son, were in the car. They were not injured.

Phillip Haynes, 17, of 314 Bryan St., is charged with first-degree murder and shooting into a motor vehicle, and Jamie Thornton, 20, of 4812 Alamance Road, is charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

Medics worked frantically to save his Chappell's life, but he died at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Elizabeth Chappell says she’ll remember her son as a fantastic father. If she had the chance to talk to her son’s alleged killer, she knows what she’d say.

“I would tell him about Jesus and just hope that he finds forgiveness for himself. I would forgive him,” she said, tearing up.

Haynes was being held in the Cumberland County jail without bond. Thornton was jailed under a $50,000 secured bond.


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