Local News

Murder Added to Charges in Johnston Hit-and-Run Case

Posted April 17, 2008 9:43 a.m. EDT
Updated April 17, 2008 7:21 p.m. EDT

— State troopers Thursday added murder to the list of charges against the man accused of driving a car that struck a 7-year-old boy in a Johnston County hit-and-run Sunday night.

Hipolito Hernandez, 30, of Parkertown Road in Four Oaks, remained in the Johnston County Jail Thursday on a $1 million bond.

State troopers said Marcus Lassiter, 7, had been playing in his grandmother's front yard and was trying to cross Heath Road when a car driven by Hernandez struck him.

The child’s leg was broken, and he had brain damage. His family decided to remove him from life support, and he died Monday night.

A visitation is scheduled for Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at First Missionary Baptist Church in Clayton. His funeral is Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Johnston Piney Grove Church in Clayton.

Lassiter's first-grade classmates at Cooper Elementary School in Clayton have made about 400 necklaces to sell to help pay for his hospital expenses and funeral costs.

"I think it's helping them a lot (to cope with Lassiter's death)," their teacher, Kate Mundt, said. "Because it's a positive thing. They're enjoying what their doing."

The class is no longer accepting orders but is still accepting donations on behalf of Lassiter's family.

Checks made payable to his mother, Sheila Lassiter, can be sent to: Marcus Lassiter Donation Fund, c/o Cooper Elementary School, 849 North Mial St., Clayton, N.C. 27520.