Life sentence handed down in Vass 12-year-old's slaying
Posted August 10, 2010 11:35 a.m. EDT
Updated August 10, 2010 6:34 p.m. EDT
Carthage, N.C. — A man who pleaded guilty last week to killing a 12-year-old Moore County girl almost three years ago was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without parole.
Michael Graham Currie, 21, pleaded guilty on Aug. 3 to first-degree murder and breaking and entering in the Sept. 21, 2007, death of Emily Elizabeth Haddock.
As part of the plea, prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty against Currie.
"I'm not cruel," Currie told Haddock's family before he was sentenced. He asked them for the "solitude of forgiveness."
Joy Haddock said the family was given a life sentence in September 2007 – a life without their daughter. She said her daughter never got the chance to attend her high school prom, drive or get married, and she wanted Currie to know everything he had taken away from the girl.
Investigators said Currie and four other men intended to break into the Haddock home in Vass and were surprised to find Emily there. She had stayed home from school with strep throat.
She was shot several times with a 22-caliber handgun, authorities said. Her grandfather found her body when he stopped by the home to check on her.
Moore County District Attorney Maureen Krueger said she pursued the plea deal because she had no forensic evidence that singled out Currie as the shooter. As part of his plea, however, he admitted to being the person who pulled the trigger, she said.
"The Haddock family knows with certainty the identity of the person that murdered their little girl," Krueger said.
Joy Haddock said the image of her terrified daughter alone in the house when an armed man broke in will haunt her for the rest of her life. Still, she told Currie in court, "May God bless you."
Sherrod Nicholas Harrison pleaded guilty earlier this year to being an accessory after the fact in the case and was sentenced to 93 to 123 months in prison.
Trials for the other three defendants, Van Roger Smith Jr., Perry Ross Schiro and Ryan Jermar White, are pending.