Local News

Trial in slaying of 12-year-old girl delayed

Posted January 8, 2010 10:04 a.m. EST

— A Superior Court judge on Thursday granted a defense request to delay the trial for one of five men accused in the 2007 death of a 12-year-old Moore County girl.

Attorney Tony Buzzard had asked for more time to prepare for the trial of his client, Michael Graham Currie, on first-degree murder charges in the Sept. 21, 2007, death of Emily Elizabeth Haddock. Currie, of Cameron, faces the death penalty if convicted.

The trial, which was set to begin Feb.1, could be postponed for up to three months.

Currie and four other men – Sherrod Nicholas Harrison, Van Roger Smith Jr. and Perry Ross Schiro, all of Cameron, and Ryan Jermar White, of Sanford – are charged with breaking into Emily's house on Marks Road outside Vass. Investigators believe they intended to burglarize the house but were surprised to find Emily, who was home sick.

Buzzard asked for the trial delay in order to get the results of DNA testing on hair samples, which are expected in 30 days, and because of ongoing health issues with an investigator.

Buzzard also requested prosecutors to provide information as required by the Racial Justice Act, which allows statistical evidence to establish racial bias as motivating prosecutors seeking or jurors rendering the death penalty.

The judge scheduled a pre-trial hearing on motions pertaining to evidence for Feb. 5.

Moore County District Attorney Maureen Krueger must decide whether to try the five suspects individually or as a group.

On Thursday, Harrison's lawyers asked for his client's trial to not be delayed and start as scheduled on Feb. 1. Harrison also faces the death penalty if convicted.