SANFORD, N.C. — A judge in Lee County will allow the state to seek the death penalty in the case of a murdered 11-year-old boy.
Sheriff's investigators say Bradley Way was found dead in an abandoned trailer near his home last month. They believe Victor Gamble, 20, broke into the boy's house to rob it.
Investigators say Gamble kicked and stepped on Way so hard that he fractured his skull. The autopsy showed Way had footprints on his body.
After the judge's decision, prosecutors announced plans to seek the death penalty in the case.
Before the court hearing began, attorneys asked the judge to allow Gamble to change into regular clothes. Attorneys believed Gamble's appearance in an orange jumpsuit may influence potential jurors.
The judge denied their request, but he allowed a second defense attorney be assigned to Gamble's case.
Way's family and Gamble's family declined to comment after the hearing was over.
Way's supporters wore black ribbons with Way's Little League number into court. Plans are under way to dedicate two signs in his memory when the season starts again this fall.