12/15/06 — Teen files not guilty plea in shooting

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Teen files not guilty plea in shooting

By Lee Williams
Published in News on December 15, 2006 1:45 PM

PIKEVILLE -- A Goldsboro teen suspected of killing his classmate when a gun he allegedly was twirling on his finger went off has told a Wayne County judge that he is not guilty of murder.

Defense Attorney Geoff Hulse entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client, Timothy Wydal Alston Jr., during a pretrial hearing held Tuesday at the Wayne County Courthouse.

Alston, of White Oak Road, faces second-degree murder charges in connection with the May 30 shooting death of 17-year-old John Paul Setliff, of East Wayne Street.

Setliff, a well-loved student athlete, Alston, a standout football star, and two other teens were allegedly sitting in a car on Albert Drive when the teen was shot.

Setliff was shot in the chest. He was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital. Doctors performed emergency surgery to save him, but he died nearly six hours later.

Alston initially was charged with felonious assault with a deadly weapon while inflicting serious injury. When Setliff died, the charge was upgraded to murder.

Detective Sgt. Rick Farfour, the lead investigator in the case, said alcohol and drugs were factors in the shooting.

Alston's trial is set for Jan. 8.