The second suspect in a fatal High Point shooting makes his first court appearance.
A stoic, silent Randolph Morrison was denied bond Wednesday in his first court appearance on charges he killed a 12-year-old girl and her father.
The 20-year-old from Bennettsville, S.C., stared straight ahead, lips pursed, as Judge E. Raymond Alexander Jr. briefly considered his case at the Guilford County Courthouse in High Point.Morrison, along with his High Point girlfriend, 22-year-old Deshawn Pratt, is charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder after allegedly bursting into a family's apartment Jan. 26 and opening fire. An insignificant argument over practically nothing sparked this violence, police say.
Police say Morrison and Pratt argued with 19-year-old Stephan Baxter at a convenience store hours before the shooting. Baxter lived near Pratt, and the two had gotten into it before over some sort of an accusation. Although the three only exchanged words at the store, police say Pratt and Morrison waited a few hours, then arrived at Baxter's apartment with guns.
They broke through the door of the apartment and started shooting, police say. Although the entire incident lasted only moments, Baxter's father, 44-year-old Ronald Wayne Baxter, was killed along with Baxter's sister Erica, who was 12. Another sister, 13-year-old Dana, was shot in the spine and is paralyzed. Stephan Baxter himself was shot in a leg and hand.
Others in the apartment escaped injury by hiding in closets.
Authorities are calling the case a capital crime, which means Pratt and Morrison may face the death penalty.
On Wednesday, Morrison was not actually in the courtroom. Spectators there watched him on a television screen linked to the courtroom from the jail next door.
While courtroom personnel briefed the judge on the crime, Morrison sat expressionless. His unflinching demeanor was a stark contrast to Pratt, who was hysterical during her bond hearing the day after the shooting.
Pratt turned herself in to police in South Carolina, where she and Morrison fled after the crime. Morrison was caught last week in Macon, Ga. She's been in custody since Jan. 27.
During her hearing, a sobbing Pratt shrieked, ``I didn't do anything.'
Morrison declined the judge's offer to speak with a simple, ``No sir.'
Judge Alexander assigned Morrison an attorney from the public defenders office and set his next court date for March 18.
Also on Wednesday, a probable cause hearing for Pratt was continued until March 4.