Local News

New trial ordered for man convicted in App State student's death

Posted March 11, 2011 3:15 p.m. EST

— The North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday ordered a new trial for one of three men convicted in the 2005 slaying of an Appalachian State University student from Raleigh.

Firefighters found the body of Stephen Harrington, 19, in the trunk of a burning car on a rural road near the community of Foscoe, about halfway between Boone and Grandfather Mountain, on Nov. 8, 2005.

Neil Sargeant and Kyle Triplett, both of Boone, and  Matthew Dalrymple, of Bessemer City, were convicted of killing Harrington, a Wakefield High School graduate, during a drug deal in Boone and then driving his car into the country and setting it ablaze.

Sargeant appealed his conviction, arguing that the trial judge should have allowed a statement Dalrymple made to police that implicated Triplett as instigator of the crime, in as evidence. Triplett had testified that Sargeant killed Harrington, and Dalrymple had invoked his right not to testify.

The Supreme Court ruled that Dalrymple's statement to police, although it was hearsay, should have been presented to jurors, and they tossed out Sargeant's conviction and ordered that he be retried.