Local News

Second trial, same result in Fayetteville pizzeria murder

Posted August 30, 2011 4:54 p.m. EDT

— A Raeford man who pleaded guilty then reversed himself got a guilty verdict in Cumberland County Tuesday for his role in a 2008 murder.

Stanton Mark Moretti Jr. told police that he chased a man who tried to rob his wife at knifepoint outside a pizzeria on Yadkin Road in Fayetteville on Feb. 23, 2008. He hit the alleged attacker, Aaron Lazarus McLeod, 28, with his GMC Yukon three times as McLeod tried to run down Horseshoe Road.

Moretti was charged with first-degree murder and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder in May. On the day he was to be sentenced, Moretti came to court Friday with a new lawyer, D.W. Bray, who replaced two public defenders, and asked to withdraw his guilty plea.

His second time around, a jury came to the same conclusion, finding him guilty of the lesser charge.