Local News

Trial in pregnant Marine's slaying set for Goldsboro

Posted January 25, 2010

— A former Marine charged in the death of a pregnant comrade will be tried in Goldsboro in June, officials said Monday.

Cpl. Cesar Laurean is charged with first-degree murder in the December 2007 death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach while both were stationed at Camp Lejeune. Her charred remains were found in a shallow grave behind the Jacksonville home Laurean shared with his wife and young daughter.

Defense attorney Dick McNeil asked to have the murder trial moved out of Onslow County, saying local anger over the case and extensive publicity would jeopardize Laurean's right to impartial jurors and a fair trial.

Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson didn't object to the move and said he was confident that Wayne County jurors could provide a fair verdict.

The trial is expected to begin the week of June 28 last three to four weeks.

Lauterbach, 20, told military authorities that Laurean raped her in April 2007. She was seven months pregnant at the time of her death. A DNA test showed that Laurean was not the father of her child.

Laurean fled the country hours before authorities found her body, leaving behind a note claiming that Lauterbach had killed herself and that he buried her in fear. Following an international manhunt, Laurean was arrested in Mexico in April 2008. He was extradited to North Carolina last spring, only after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty against him.

In addition to murder, Laurean faces charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, financial transaction card theft, attempted financial transaction card fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses. Those charges stem from the theft of Lauterbach's bank card, which was later used to withdraw money.

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  • beachboater Jan 26, 2010

    I don't think I have to worry about sitting on that jury. I followed the story when it happened. I know how I would vote.

  • Tarheelfan13 Jan 26, 2010

    I think it is important to note that the reneging on the promise argument is a moot point because the state of North Carolina no longer has any legal or lawful authority to execute the defendent. And it is the United States government that has the lawful authority to enforce the fact that North Carolina can not seek the death penalty against the defendent. The lawful authority of the United States State Department trumps any North Carolina authority in this matter now pertaining to capital punishment.

  • mamaof3 Jan 25, 2010

    superman67

    it was a forensic dentistry continuing education class

  • superman67112005 Jan 25, 2010

    Anthony Iam........you are correct, we shouldnt renig on our promise......however we shouldnt have made the promise to begin with.

    Thats liberal america for ya though.

    I do not believe EVERYONE who kills someone should get the death penalty. Sometimes there are variable in a situation in which people (public) just do not know.

    But this was totally uncalled for? He should get the old "eye for an eye!" justice in this case I believe

  • superman67112005 Jan 25, 2010

    mama of three

    How did you get access to the autopsy pics?

  • mamaof3 Jan 25, 2010

    I've seen the autopsy photos & it is a shame that someone would do that to another human being. She was looking forward to having her baby, the baby who turned out not to be his! I believe his wife had a lil something to do with it as well~

  • anthonyiam Jan 25, 2010

    I can't believe we promised Mexico we wouldn't execute him! I'd execute him anyway ...

    THEN THE NEXT MURDERER THAN FLEES TO MEXICO, THEY WON'T EXTRADITE HIM BECAUSE THEY WILL FEAR WE WILL RENIG ON OUR PROMISE.

  • jwstevens04 Jan 25, 2010

    So we move it from one military town, to another...smart....

  • Adelinthe Jan 25, 2010

    Blessed he got a change of venue; now he can't use that as an excuse for an appeal.

    Wish the guy could hang for what he did. If found guilty, may he spent the rest of his livelong days in prison.

    Praying for Maria's loved ones and for the wee soul she gave birth to while she was being beaten, the one that was thrown into the firey pit with her.

    God bless.

    RB

  • TrooperChik Jan 25, 2010

    Some people would have different feelings about his sentencing if it were their family member. My sister was murdered 29 years ago and the man never spent a day in jail!!! I think it should be an eye for an eye if you ask me...

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