Local News

Homeless Man Found Guilty In Murder of N.C. State Researcher

Posted May 18, 2001

— After three days and almost 10 hours of delberations, a jury found Robert Earl Avery, 30, guilty of killing a N. C. State University researcher Thursday.

Eric Bish, 30, was gunned down May 18, 2000, at the Method Station Post Office on Beryl Road. After shooting Bish in the head, Avery stole his car.

The victim's brother says his family is relieved by the verdict, but are still coping with their loss.

"It's been really difficult, the most difficult year of our lives," says Tim Bish. "For someone who was on the cusp of their life, with so much left to do in society, to be taken from this world is just senseless."

Defense attorneys fought to save Avery's life Thursday afternoon. They argued that the homeless man should not be put to death because mental illness prevented him from understanding the consequences of his actions.

Prosecutors disagreed, saying Avery's actions speak for themselves.

Wake Superior Court Judge Donald W. Stephens instructed the jury to decide whether Avery was guilty of felony murder or premeditated murder. The jury found him guilty on both counts.

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