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3 Teens Charged in Moore County Girl's Slaying

Posted September 24, 2007
Updated September 25, 2007

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— Three teens were charged with murder Monday night in connection with the slaying of a 12-year-old girl in her Moore County home last week.

Authorities arrested Van Roger Smith Jr., 16, and Sherrod Nicholas Harrison, 19, Monday afternoon.

After a search, the Moore County Sheriff's Office took Michael Graham Currie, 18, into custody Monday night. All three teens were charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of breaking and entering. All are from Cameron.

Twelve-year-old Emily Elizabeth Haddock was shot to death Friday in her home on Marks Road outside of Vass, authorities said. The girl had stayed home from school with strep throat and was alone.

The Haddock family had moved into the home a few months ago, and authorities said the secluded area – no other houses are in sight – likely made the house a target.

"The people who do this kind of stuff, they select the houses. (There were) no neighbors nearby, so it's a target of opportunity for them," said Chief Deputy Neil Godfrey, of the Moore County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators said the motive of the murder appears to be robbery. One of the suspects is the person of interest in another Friday morning breaking and entering about a mile up the road.

Investigators said they believe the intruder was startled to find someone at home when he entered Emily's home, so he shot her several times. Investigators said Monday night they believe they have recovered the murder weapon, a .22 caliber pistol.

Meanwhile, counselors were at New Century Middle School, where Emily was in the seventh grade, on Monday to help students cope with her death. Students spent the day writing letters and making a banner, bracelets and bouquets of flowers.

"Mostly, we just want to make sure the students are feeling safe, that they're feeling comfortable, that they can go on through the grief process," Principal Cindy Holland said. "(Counselors are) doing a lot to get the emotions from these children out."

Holland said Emily was a special part of the school and would be missed. The girl's funeral is scheduled for Tuesday in Hope Mills.

"(She was) very quiet, soft spoken, always had a smile. We were talking (Monday) morning that one of the things that many of the students remembered was she always had a big smile on her face," she said.

The suspects were being held without bond in the Moore County Detention Center in Carthage.They were expected to make their first court appearance Tuesday morning.