Parking spot for Marine's trial for sale
By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on July 15, 2010 1:46 PM
When D.A. Stuart first learned that a high-profile murder trial had been moved to Wayne County, he saw an opportunity.
There would surely be a throng of people, from news reporters to family members, interested in making the trek to Goldsboro to watch the fate of former Camp Lejeune Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean unfold, he thought.
"It's going to be fun trying to find a place to park," he said, tongue in cheek.
But not for the person, or persons, who take advantage of Stuart's offer: 24-hour parking on his lawn, located just a few blocks away from the county courthouse.
"I figured, well, I have something somebody might want, so I might as well capitalize on it," he said.
So he posted his lot on eBay -- hoping somebody might be interested in buying the space.
"It's going to be very confusing down here," Stuart said. "So to have the security of knowing they have a place they can park that's only two-and-a-half blocks away ... they will pretty much have it made."
The going rate for a spot on Stuart's lawn is $20 per day or $100 a week.
There is even a "buy it now" option good for parking for the duration of the trial -- no matter how long it runs -- available for $500.
But just who might take him up on his offer is still somewhat of a mystery.
"I don't really know. It just seems like everybody is going to want be down here," Stuart said. "I could even do a few national media trucks."
The trial was moved to Wayne because of pre-trial publicity in Onslow County.
In June, Wayne County Superior Court Judge Arnold Jones said he already had been contacted by CNN, and he and other county officials are expecting the trial to draw national attention and all the financial costs and logistical issues that come with such an event.
Jones has told people with business at the courthouse to allow even more time than normal for traffic, parking and security beginning Aug. 9, when jury selection for the trial is set to begin.
Laurean, who is currently being held in the Onslow jail, fled to Mexico shortly before Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach's burned remains were found buried in his backyard in Jacksonville in January 2008. He was arrested three months later and extradited to North Carolina in 2009.