Local News

Trial begins for man accused of running down another

Posted May 16, 2011 8:47 a.m. EDT

— Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of a Raeford man charged with murder for hitting another man with his SUV in 2008.

Stanton Mark Moretti Jr., 45, told police he was chasing the man who tried to rob his wife.

Moretti said his wife, Anna, was standing outside a pizzeria on Yadkin Road in Fayetteville when a man approached her and threatened her with a knife. Anna Moretti yelled for her husband, who said he responded by firing two warning shots, then chasing the alleged attacker in his GMC Yukon.

Moretti hit Aaron Lazarus McLeod, then 28, three times as McLeod ran down Horseshoe Road.

In a pre-trial interview, Moretti said he heard loud noises that he thought were gunshots and ducked, hitting McLeod.

Moretti is charged with first-degree murder and faces life in prison or the death penalty if he is convicted.