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Suspect in Wayne Community College shooting removed from courtroom

Posted April 16, 2015
Updated April 17, 2015

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— Kenneth Morgan Stancil III, who is charged with murder in the shooting death of Wayne Community College worker Ron Lane, was forcibly removed from court Thursday after using profane language before a judge.

Stancil appeared calm and relaxed when he was brought into the courtroom several minutes before Superior Court Judge Arnold O. Jones entered. The hearing was Stancil's first court appearance in North Carolina since he was returned from Florida, where he was arrested Tuesday.

Jones told Stancil he was charged with first-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of death, and asked if he understood and wanted a court-appointed attorney.

Stancil said he didn’t want an attorney, saying “I knew in my mind that I could get life. If you fall in my top eight, I will kill you, you know what I'm saying.”

Jones tried to stop Stancil from continuing, but Stancil kept talking and used an obscenity. The judge told him not to use such language in his courtroom, but when Stancil cursed again, Jones told the 12 uniformed officers present to “take him out.”

Stancil, whose hands were cuffed in front of him, tried to flip a table before officers rushed him out of the courtroom. Jones then called for a short recess.

When the hearing resumed, Jones told Stancil, “I’m going to treat you with as much respect as you will allow me to.”

Stancil – hands now cuffed behind his back – said he understood and was subdued for the remainder of the hearing. He said he wanted a court-appointed attorney.

Stancil worked for Lane as a work-study student until March, when he was dismissed for too many absences. Investigators said Stancil walked into the print shop Monday morning and shot Lane with a 12-gauge pump shotgun. He fled on a motorcycle and was captured the next morning when officers found him asleep on a beach in Volusia County, Fla.

Stancil – a neo-Nazi who said he doesn’t believe in race mixing and hates gay people – said he shot Lane because the openly gay man made sexual advances toward his 16-year-old brother through Facebook.

Several hours before the hearing, Lane's family and friends gathered for his funeral in Dudley. Steven Smith, Lane's cousin, refuted Stancil's accusation that Lane was a child molester and said he was a loving man who was devoted to his family and friends.

Smith said the family forgives Stancil and is praying for him and his family.

27 Comments

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  • Jeff Abbott Apr 17, 2015
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    In other news, the judge, with the help of 10 deputies, forced Mr. Stancil to wash his mouth out with soap later that night in his holding cell.

  • Quinn Satterthwaite Apr 17, 2015
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    the judge has to run his courtroom.
    He instructed Stancil that he was not allowed to talk like that. He was notified.

    Its not a free speech issue at all.

  • Laura Collins Apr 17, 2015
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    Why is the 1st Amendment suspended in a courtroom just because a judge doesn't like a certain word? What about his due process?

  • Alexia Proper Apr 17, 2015
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    I often hear the "N" word and, now thanks to you, I just heard it again in my head. Using the "N" word to describe the real word is about as dumb as it gets, really. Political correctness runs out of control in America.

    The "N" word, if I were to use it outside of this kind of dialog, would be considered a derogatory term; there are many such words and word usages that fall into that category. Those are words used to attack people or to degrade them. That's not what I'm referring to here.

    There is a world of difference between using derogatory language to be hurtful to people versus naturally speaking using some list of bogus "bad" words like the ones Stancil was using in court.

  • David Pilley Apr 17, 2015
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    Alexia, with this logic, you should have no problem with saying or hearing the n-word...

    ...or maybe it's the fact that "profanity," just like language and its parts, have COMMUNITY- and SOCIETY-based aspects, which explains why some words are universally understood (NO) and some words differ in other places (truck/lorry, etc.), and also why you may develop a certain accent after staying an extended period of time in another part of the country or world.

  • Alexia Proper Apr 17, 2015
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    What is "profanity" is entirely individualized. I do not get the least bit upset if I hear the "F" word, especially the way he uses it. He's calm-speaking and it's a natural part of his vocabulary. I have far more concern with hearing an angry person yelling.

    Any feeling that you have a right NOT to hear something is just projecting your values onto somebody else. Same for the judge in this case. He has some preconceived notion that some words are "bad" and wants to force his notion on participants in the courtroom.

    As George Carlin said when doing his "7 dirty words" mono, there is no list of dirty words and they're not your list: it's somebody else's list. Funny guy and truth is there is nothing inherently wrong with any word. You just don't personally like it for some reason, likely because you had a list forced on you.

  • Jeff Abbott Apr 17, 2015
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    Why don't they just put a muzzle on him like Hannibal Lecter? Better yet, just put a bag over his head so we don't have to see his ugly mug.

  • Quinn Satterthwaite Apr 17, 2015
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    Can it really be called pandering if essentially everyone is in favor of it and it has existed for decades?
    "Pandering" implies that somehow you are gaining votes by it, but if both candidates view this as non-controversial where are you gaining any votes?

  • Terry Watts Apr 17, 2015
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    And I'm sure the NCGOP, sucking up to Rev. Graham, are going to rush right out and take care of this now that they are in power... That's a hoot!

  • Quid Malmborg Apr 17, 2015
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    My point being that egregiously unconstitutional legislation such as this exists despite Federal proscriptions against it. If there is to be any "restoration of religious freedom" (or whatever Orwellian term one wants to call it) legislation passed it should include removal of this clause from the state constitution.

    But as you point out- ideological pandering. :-\

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