Local News

Accused killer rejects plea deal in girl's death

Posted June 3, 2010 5:49 p.m. EDT
Updated June 3, 2010 6:51 p.m. EDT

— A Cameron man accused of killing a 12-year-old Moore County girl in a botched break-in almost three years ago rejected a plea deal in the case on Thursday, choosing to take his case to trial.

Michael Graham Currie, 21, is charged with first-degree murder and breaking and entering in the Sept. 21, 2007, death of Emily Elizabeth Haddock. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Currie was prepared to plead guilty in the case during a Thursday afternoon court hearing in exchange for a life sentence, but he changed his mind and told a Superior Court judge that he wouldn't take the deal that prosecutors offered.

Defense attorneys declined to comment after the hearing. Members of Haddock's family also declined to comment.

Currie's trial is scheduled to begin in August.

Meanwhile, one of four other men charged in the case pleaded guilty to a charge of accessory after the fact of murder. Sherrod Nicholas Harrison, of Cameron, was sentenced to 93 to 123 months in prison and is required to testify against Currie and the other defendants as part of his plea agreement.

In addition to Currie and Harrison, Van Roger Smith Jr. and Perry Ross Schiro, both of Cameron, and Ryan Jermar White, of Sanford, are charged with breaking into Haddock's house on Marks Road outside Vass and killing her.

Investigators said they believe Currie was the ringleader and the men intended to burglarize the house but were surprised to find the girl, who was home sick. Prosecutors said in court Thursday that Currie shot Haddock in the mouth and head.

Prosecutors initially planned to seek the death penalty against Harrison as well, but they said Thursday that there was no evidence that he was inside the house at the time of the slaying.

Smith is too young to qualify for the death penalty under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and prosecutors previously said they wouldn't seek the death penalty against Schiro and White.