Local News

New Trial Delayed for Durham Murder Suspect

Posted April 30, 2007

— The trial for one of Durham's most notorious murder suspects has been delayed until Tuesday.

Jury selection for Todd Boggess' new trial was supposed to start Monday, but it has been postponed due to a scheduling conflict.

His new trial comes 10 years after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder for the slaying of Danny Pence.

Pence, 16, was found beaten to death in a wooded area of northern Durham County in 1995. Investigators believe Boggess and Melanie Gray kidnapped Pence from, Wilmington, brought him to Durham and killed him before stealing his car.

Gray, who was 14 years old at the time, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was set free in 2005.

Boggess was sentenced to die for the killing in 1997. Even through police claim Boggess confessed to Pence's slaying several times, his death sentence was overturned on a technicality, and he was granted a new trial.

"It's very difficult, you know. It was one of the worst times in my life, and to have to go back and repeat it, it's tough," said Sharlene Pence, Danny's mother. "It's very difficult, very difficult to be in the same room as the man who killed your son.

"He was a perfect child. I loved him very much, and I miss him very much."

Pence said her faith and her friends have helped her through the long legal process.

"Half my church came up front and prayed for me (Sunday). It was overwhelming," she said.

Prosecutors aren't seeking the death penalty in the case. If convicted on the first-degree murder charge, Boggess would receive an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

"I want to remember all the good things about him. I don't want to remember how he died. So I pray, after the next few weeks, I won't have to do that again."


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  • BLA BLA BLA Apr 30, 2007

    No death Penalty? spend the rest of his life in prison? Sorry, but If I had to spend the rest of my life in prison, think I would shoot for the Death Penalty.

  • ladyblue Apr 30, 2007

    Why can't they just change the sentence from death to life without parole and spare the expense of another trial. He killed someone and after he drove him from wilmington (stealing victim' car) to durham, it seems he could have left him beside road. To kill him means he planned it, thus lst degree. I can't believe no one knew this woman was such good friends. This was a ploy to do just what they are doing now. Stalling for time, costing taxpayers money...

  • 68_polara Apr 30, 2007

    Crone said:
    "Why aren't they going for the death penalty this time you ask? Probably because he's white."

    That is the kind of childish racist remark one would have expected from Al Sharpton. Thanks for you racist gibberish.

  • dogsrule12cheek Apr 30, 2007

    first of all what does color have to do with a loss of a
    mother's child,, people get with it. There will all ways be
    tension in the air till the earth is here no more on the
    white/black thing, Get Real and grow up!!!

    God Bless the family who have lost there son,

  • Huey Apr 30, 2007

    The stupidity of our judicial system will be the death of
    us yet. The lawyers, judges, and clowns have turned it into
    more of a circus than a system of justice. Now a days something
    may be "legal" but it goes against common sense and decency.
    They play games, spend tax money, waste time and all the while
    crime goes up and gangs and hoods laugh at us all.

  • Crone Apr 30, 2007

    But no matter what the color of skin, the death penalty is never justified.

  • Crone Apr 30, 2007

    Why aren't they going for the death penalty this time you ask? Probably because he's white.

  • whocares Apr 30, 2007

    Isn't this the case that took forever to get the transcription done of the trial? I hope whoever does the transcribing of this trial is better prepared than the last.

  • I hear voices Apr 30, 2007

    I love the wat that WRAL has limited the topics we can post on.

  • hiyadun Apr 30, 2007

    I do not think he deserves another trial. What was the technicality? He should have to cut that pony tail too.