Local News

Suspect in Wayne Community College shooting removed from courtroom

Posted April 16, 2015 5:14 p.m. EDT
Updated April 17, 2015 5:35 a.m. EDT

— Kenneth Morgan Stancil III, who is charged with murder in the shooting death of Wayne Community College worker Ron Lane, was forcibly removed from court Thursday after using profane language before a judge.

Stancil appeared calm and relaxed when he was brought into the courtroom several minutes before Superior Court Judge Arnold O. Jones entered. The hearing was Stancil's first court appearance in North Carolina since he was returned from Florida, where he was arrested Tuesday.

Jones told Stancil he was charged with first-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of death, and asked if he understood and wanted a court-appointed attorney.

Stancil said he didn’t want an attorney, saying “I knew in my mind that I could get life. If you fall in my top eight, I will kill you, you know what I'm saying.”

Jones tried to stop Stancil from continuing, but Stancil kept talking and used an obscenity. The judge told him not to use such language in his courtroom, but when Stancil cursed again, Jones told the 12 uniformed officers present to “take him out.”

Stancil, whose hands were cuffed in front of him, tried to flip a table before officers rushed him out of the courtroom. Jones then called for a short recess.

When the hearing resumed, Jones told Stancil, “I’m going to treat you with as much respect as you will allow me to.”

Stancil – hands now cuffed behind his back – said he understood and was subdued for the remainder of the hearing. He said he wanted a court-appointed attorney.

Stancil worked for Lane as a work-study student until March, when he was dismissed for too many absences. Investigators said Stancil walked into the print shop Monday morning and shot Lane with a 12-gauge pump shotgun. He fled on a motorcycle and was captured the next morning when officers found him asleep on a beach in Volusia County, Fla.

Stancil – a neo-Nazi who said he doesn’t believe in race mixing and hates gay people – said he shot Lane because the openly gay man made sexual advances toward his 16-year-old brother through Facebook.

Several hours before the hearing, Lane's family and friends gathered for his funeral in Dudley. Steven Smith, Lane's cousin, refuted Stancil's accusation that Lane was a child molester and said he was a loving man who was devoted to his family and friends.

Smith said the family forgives Stancil and is praying for him and his family.