09/12/08 — David Best murder trial continued

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David Best murder trial continued

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on September 12, 2008 1:50 PM

A man accused of killing his girlfriend, burying her under a set of outdoor steps and living over the corpse for months had his court case continued this week.

David William Best, 24 at the time of his arrest, is accused of slaying Patricia Herring, 42.

Ms. Herring was first reported missing to Mount Olive police by Ms. Herring's sister, Kathy Holt Alfaro, in August, 2007.

In November, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and the State Bureau of Investigation painstakingly unearthed Ms. Herring's remains from a beneath a set of pre-fabricated concrete steps at Best's Selah Church Road single-wide trailer.

Assistant District Attorney Terry Yeh has been assigned to the case.

"Basically, we're just still in the administrative-type status for the case, so we're just in pleas and negotiations," Ms. Yeh said. "No activity this week, just set for an administrative-type calendaring."

Another date in the trial won't be set until Nov. 17, the assistant district attorney said.

Steven Fisher, a Greenville attorney, is representing Best as his court-appointed counsel.

Fisher said he follows a North Carolina Bar Association ethics rule that bars attorneys from making comments to media that could "taint the jury pool," he said.

The attorney said that in his experience, that ethics rule is seldom followed by attorneys on the bar, but that he "typically (doesn't) make any comments to the press until the matter is resolved," in adherence to the ethics rule.