09/28/12 — McLaurin murder suspects have first appearance

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McLaurin murder suspects have first appearance

By John Joyce
Published in News on September 28, 2012 1:46 PM

A first appearance was held in Wayne County Superior Court Monday for all four suspects charged in the murder of Kennedy McLaurin Jr.

Leonard Joyner, Jerome Butts, Kevin Smith and Curtis Etheredge each appeared via video conference from Wayne County Jail.

According to the judicial assistant, Anita Walker, the reason for the video conference was more than the simple logistics of moving all four detainees from the jail to the courtroom, but was not, to her knowledge, in response to a specific security concern.

"It is probably just because the family members where there, and they (the suspects) don't need to be in the court room," said Walker.

The 17-minute court session resulted in records being faxed to Raleigh to secure appointed defense attorneys for the accused. None of the four have obtained their own counsel.

April Cox, spokesperson for Kimberly Best, McLaurin's mother, said that the family is concerned right now over reports that unauthorized persons are accepting donations on the family's behalf.

"There is a donation fund that people can contribute to in assisting the family, but that account has been set up by the family," said Ms. Cox.

The BB&T account is being managed by Ms. Cox and Coreen Hagans, who have authorized deposit slips and who say that receipts will be issued to those who donate.

Ms. Hagans can be reached at 919-922-1501.