Local News

Investigation Continues Into Shooting Death Of Orange County Toddler

Posted December 27, 2002 6:21 a.m. EST

— Investigators are still trying to sort out exactly what happened before a shooting that left a toddler dead on Christmas Eve.

Lashanta Romaro Fearrington, 20, makes his first appearance in the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough on Friday after being charged with murder in the death of his nephew.

Fearrington has been held in the county jail since being arrested at the scene of Wednesday's shooting, which killed his nephew, Measha Lamont Fearrington, who has been reported to be between 15 and 18 months old.

The victim was shot and killed in his grandfather's home in rural Orange County, just west of Carrboro, on Christmas Eve.

Fearrington has been charged with first-degree murder, though Measha may not have been the intended target and died when a bullet ricocheted into him.

Deputies said the killing occurred as Fearrington argued with his stepfather, James Edwards, at the house on Battle Lane.

According to reports, there was a struggle over a gun. Edwards was shot in the leg. The bullet exited his leg and hit Measha in the head as he reportedly crawled around on the floor nearby.

The toddler reportedly died instantly. Authorities found the boy dead when they arrived at the home around 2:30 p.m., Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass said.

The child's mother reportedly was Christmas shopping at the time of the shooting.

Officials declined to say what the two men were arguing about when Fearrington brought out a .357 revolver and fired at Edwards.

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Edwards lived at the residence, and Fearrington lived close by.

Edwards was treated at UNC Hospitals, where he was listed in good condition Tuesday night. Fearrington also was charged with assault for shooting him.

Officials say they have a few more interviews to conduct before they can wrap up the case.