Local News

Lawyers Seek to have Confession Thrown Out

Posted December 16, 1996 12:00 a.m. EST

— Defense attorneys for a man accused of killing a Wilmington teenager are trying to suppress an alleged confession.

Investigators say Todd C. Boggess, 21, told them he killed Todd Pence in August 1995. Today, Boggess' attorneys are in Durham Superior Court trying to get those incriminating statements thrown out of court.

Boggess and second defendant, Melanie Gray of Durham, who was 14 at the time, are accused of driving away with Daniel Lee Pence in Pence's car from Wrightsville Beach on Aug. 22, 1995. That was the last time Pence, a 17-year-old honor student at Wilmington's Laney High School, was seen alive.

Twelve hours later, Pence was found dead in an old house in northern Durham County, 150 miles away. Investigators think the victim was taken in his own car, against his will, to a wooded hillside.

The trial is scheduled for next year. District Attorney Jim Hardin is seeking the death penalty for Boggess.