04/12/05 — Six jurors seated in murder trial

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Six jurors seated in murder trial

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 12, 2005 1:47 PM

Jury selection continued today in Wayne County Superior Court in the first-degree murder trial of two people accused of the fatal shooting of a Goldsboro man.

Dwight Eugene Sloan, 23, of Decoy Drive, Pikeville, and Kolanda Kay Wooten, 19, of Courtyard Circle, are charged in the death of Jamaal Rashaud Pearsall of 1721-A Maple St.

The shooting took place Aug. 24, 2003, in the 1700 block of Edgerton Street, Goldsboro police said.

Neither defendant faces the death penalty. But if either is convicted of first-degree murder, then they could be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Six jurors were seated Monday. The state excused another, and five were being questioned by the defense when the trial was recessed for the day by Judge John W. Smith of Wilmington.

Sloan and Ms. Wooten were indicted in March 2004 by a grand jury on the murder charges. Sloan also was indicted on two counts of discharge of a weapon in occupied property. Ms. Wooten was indicted on one count of the same offense.

Goldsboro police believe that the shooting followed a conflict between the two men that had escalated over several days. Investigators said Sloan and some friends confronted Pearsall earlier that day near Pearsall's home. Shots were fired near Maple Street and Jefferson Avenue, police said. Pearsall then jumped in a car and tried to flee, but the car crashed into a parked vehicle near the intersection. Police found Pearsall's body in the car with one gunshot wound to the chest.

Sloan surrendered to police later that night.

About two weeks later, Ms. Wooten was arrested and charged with taking part in the shooting.

Sloan's mother, Mary Sloan, has told the News-Argus that the two men did not know each other.

According to court documents, Sloan's lawyer, Geoff Hulse, may use self-defense as a reason for the shooting. Ms. Wooten's lawyer is Mike Reese of Smithfield.

Assistant District Attorneys Matt Delbridge and Claud Ferguson are prosecuting the case.