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Jury Opts For Life Sentence Following King's Guilty Plea
continued Krom Page 1-A)
Gore agreed to drop a charge of first-degree kidnapping
and to delay sentencing for the robbery.
"Tyrone King is a cold-bloodcd murderer," Gore told
the jury in his argument for the death penalty. "He may
look too young. He may look too quiet. He may look too
angelic. But folks, there is no mistake. He is. He is.
"You know that he did it," Gore said. "Now is the
time for you who value human life to decide if Tyrone
King forfeited his right to live when he murdered
Ronald Evans and stole from him the only thing he had
of value, his 1987 Honda."
One by one. Gore asked the jurors to weigh the list of
factors they would be required to consider in King's be
half "against die fact that he decided that Ronald Evans'
life was worth less dian a 1987 Honda."
Then, one by one, defense attorney Michael Ramos
reminded the jury that cach of those factors told some
thing important about Tyrone King, things Ramos said
ought to be considered in addition to the moments lead
ing up to the murder.
"All lilc has value," Ramos said. "The state wants
you to believe that Mr. King's life doesn't have value.
But that's not the case. Mr. Gore wants to fine tunc his
life down to 30 seconds and throw out everything else.
But that's not how we value people. His life is more than
just that 30 seconds."
A scries of witnesses testified in King's behalf at the
sentencing hearing Monday, portraying the defendant as
a normal, energetic teen-ager who had never been in se
rious trouble, who loved his family and who helped care
for an aging grandfather with arthritis.
Under cross examination, those witnesses also said
King dropped out of school in the ninth grade, that he
never held a steady job and failed to pay child support
for his four-year-old daughter.
STAFF PHOTO BY tKIC CAKISON
WAITING as defense attorneys negotiate a plea arrangement with confessed murderer Bradley Tyrone
King are (from left) SHI Agent Kelly Moser, Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, SHI Agent Mac
Warner and District Attorney Rex Gore.
Rev. Shcllon Patterson, a Baptist preacher from North
Myrtle Beach, desenbed the day King "accepted Jesus
Christ" in the Brunswick County Jail shortly after his ar
rest. Patterson said thai in later visits to the jail. King of
ten asked about Bible passages and showed "real spiritu
Recalling these and other statements, Ramos said
King "wasn't a bad person," but one who "apparently
14 Squads Fight 1,600- Acre
Blaze; Some Homes Evacuated
(Continued From Page 1-A)
sitioned in fronl of cach house in the
fire zone or patrolling roadsides,
hunting down and dousing spotovers
as they popped up. The lire was
burning on both sides of N.C. 211
below Midway Road, with frequent
"It's just continuous, with the
wind like it is," said Logan, who
was serving as deputy incident com
mander on the scene. "It's so smoky
we can't see them. When one comcs
up and wc sec it. it's almost loo
Roger Suggs, chief of Supply
Volunteer Fire Department, was
staffing die Emergency Manage
ment mobile unit set up between
Brunswick Electric Membership
Corp.'s office and the county water
plant on N.C. 211.
"It's a madhouse," he said.
"We've got 14 fire departments here
and about 100 people." The storm,
as of 10:30 p.m., had provided little
relief, he said, less than one-tenth of
an inch of rain.
Heavy smoke and/or danger of
fire closed Midway Road and N.C.
211 remained closed between
Midway Road and N.C. 133 from 9
a.m. on Tuesday.
It was unanticipated high winds in
midaftemoon that caused the eon
trolled backfire to literally backfire
on state firefighters and send the
blaze reeling out of its control lines.
doubling its acreage by Tuesday
"We were trying to bum approxi
mately 300 acres on the west flank
of the fire, trying to eliminate iLs
source of fuel with a controlled
burn," said Laura Barston, a
Division of Forest Rosources
spokesman. "The fire was moving to
the north-northeast. Unfortunately,
with all those winds..."
At 4:30 p.m. Tuesday the con
trolled burn "spotted over," crossing
N.C. 211 at Midway Road near the
Midway Trading Post. It advanced
steadily, pushed by midafternoon
winds of 20 mph to 25 mph.
"That was not in the forecast,"
said Barston. "The wind is really a
big concern for us right now."
Winds were holding steady at 8 mph
to 10 mph Tuesday evening. Winds
had been cxpectcd to continue out of
the south-southwest at 10 mph to 15
ir.ph Tuesday night, but were
skewed by passing thunderstorms.
More help was on the way ? a re
gional "major" team was expected
to be in place by 8 a.m. Wednesday
to help with planning the firefight
ing strategy and handle adminstra
tivc details such as provisioning and
sheltering firefighters and cost ac
The American Red Cross arrived
on the scene Tuesday evening bring
ing food and drinks for firefighters,
while Archer-Daniel-Midland pro
vidcd two larger tankers of water to
refill fire department pumpers, and
an N.C. Department of
Transportation gas tanker refueled
The original wildfire began July
26 when lightning struck in thick,
inaccessible woodland between N.C.
211 and the Atlantic Intracoastal
Waterway. Firefighters had con
tained the blaze at about 270 acres
until Sunday afternoon, when at
12:45 p.m. it broke through contain
ment lines to the north and spread
quickly, pushed by strong winds
from the south.
"We had three ground personnel
from Brunswick County working on
the south end of the fire," said Greg
Pate, a Division of Forest Resources
spokesman. "A scout plane was
monitoring the fire periodically and
saw the spotovcr.
"By the time they could get
around to it, it was more than they
It had burned another approxi
mately 450 acres by the time fire
fighters were able to contain it.
Working as a team Sunday after
noon, forest service firefighters
tackled the blaze with tractors and
backfires and quenched spotovcrs
with 300-gallon buckets of water
dropped by helicopter. Volunteer
firefighters watered down the road
sides along N.C. 211 to keep the fire
Coach Cleared Of Recruiting Charge
(Continued From Page 1-A)
schools to recruit athletes, which is
defined as subjecting students to
"undue influence" to change schools
for athletic reasons.
Lemon said the athletic associa
tion needs to clarify its rules regard
ing recruiting, which NCHSAA offi
cials admit are vague.
"They ought to clear it up for
themselves," Lemon said. "They ap
parcntly have trouble with it them
Strunk said one of the football
players involved in the incident,
Charlie Peele, will attend West
Brunswick this year. He was practic
ing with the Trojans early this week.
The other student. Max Crawford,
is moving to Polk County with his
mother. Strunk said the mother,
Vickie Ray, has been looking to
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move from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to
Polk County since February.
Crawford, who played defensive
tackle for West Brunswick's state
championship team last year, is the
second Trojan football player to re
locate to Polk in the last two years.
Last year the NCHSAA ruled
there was no illegal recruiting when
Chris Mintz, a rising sophomore at
West, moved to Polk County. Mintz
father also moved to Polk and was
hired by the school system.
Mint/, played football, basketball
and baseball at West Brunswick.
The junior linebacker/tight end is
considered one of the top high
school football prospects in the
A chance of above-average rain
fall is in ine forecast for the South
The area is expected to receive at
least three-quarters inch of rainfall,
Shallotte Point meteorologist Jack
son Canady said Tuesday. Tem
peratures are expected to be near
normal, averaging from the lower
70s at night to around 90 degrees
during the daytime.
No local rainfall was recorded for
the period of July 27 through Aug.
Canady recorded a maximum
high of 96 degrees on both July 29
and 30, and a minimum low of 65
degrees the night of Aug. 1.
An average daily high of 94 de
grees combined with an average
nightly low of 74 degrees for a daily
average temperature of 84 degrees,
which is about 3 degrees above av
made an error in judgment" and "got hooked up with the
wrong people." He reminded the jury that King had
agreed to testify against his co-defendant in the case.
"That's going to be kind of hard to do if he's sen
tenced to death," Ramos said.
"This has been an ordeal for all of us. But in every or
deal, something good can come of it," he said. "You
have a real chance to show mercy. How many of you
have ever had the life or a human being in your hands?
"We're all going to die. We're all going to meet the
Lord m whatever form we believe He or She exists,"
Ramos said. "When wc do. I believe the Lord will say.
'You had an opportunity to be merciful. ..Were you?'"
After the decision was read and King was led from
the courtnxim. Assistant District Attorney Lee Bollinger
said he was pleased with the outcome. Although he had
argued for the death penalty, he said he felt die jury had
made a "reasonable" decision in imposing the life sen
"Under the circumstanccs they were given, what they
did was certainly proper under the law." he said. "I was
very pleased with their conduct and attentiveness during
the trial." Bollinger also said the plea arrangement will
give the state much stronger evidence in the prosecution
of King's co-dcfcndant
"Our primary goals in this case were to convict Bradley
Tvnjnc King of first degree murder and to put him in a
position to testify against William Earl Mill," he said.
Under current N.C Department of Correction poli
cies, King will not be eligible for parole for at least 20
years on the life sentence. He still faces an additional
14-to-40-ycar sentence on the armed robbery conviction,
for which he would be required to serve a minimum of
"While I feel this is a victory, it's certainly a hollow
one," Bollinger said, referring to the family of Ronald
Evans. "There was nothing wc could do in the court
room to remove the pain and anguish they arc suffering,
not only in coping with the death of their son, but also in
spending three weeks looking at his killer.
"Wc have some good results," he said. But it's not go
ing to take their pain away. Although it might give them
? - ?r ; ? -
STAFF PHOTO BY SUSAN USHER
DISTRICT FOREST RANGER Hugh Frazer pauses on the scene of a fire break cut to hold a woods
fire that jumped i\.C. 211 Monday afternoon after burning SOU acres east of the highway. High winds
were playing havoc with containment efforts Tuesday night.
County To Exercise More Control
Over School Board's Spending
(Continued From Page 1-A)
"I don't think we even had any
transfers last year of that size (more
than 10 percent), but I'll look and
see," said Connor. "I don't see it as a
The Brunswick County Board of
Education is challenging its S9.4
million allocation from the Bruns
wick County Board of Commis
sioners. Though it represented a 17
percent increase over the previous
year s allocation, the appropriation
was nearly S5 million less than the
school board had requested.
The two boards reached no com
promise at a July 23 joint meeting,
and the school board appealed to
Clerk of Superior Court Diana
Morgan. After meeting with attor
neys for the two boards, she referred
the matter on to Superior Court.
Judge William C. Gore, Bruns
wick County's resident Superior
Court judge, referred the civil case
to professional mediation. The two
boards (or at least enough members
to constitute a quorum of each) and
their respective attorneys will meet
behind closed doors Tuesday, Aug.
10, on the Brunswick Community
College campus with Andy Little, of
Mediation Inc. in Chapel Hill.
Mediation is standard first proce
dure for all civil Superior Court cas
es coming into in the 13th District
and eight other judicial districts in
volvcd in a statewide pilot project.
"We use it, or try to, with all our
Superior Court civil cases," said
Sieve Foster, trial court administra
tor for the 13th District.
For a typical case, successful me
diation cuts the time required for
resolution by approximately four to
six months. And cases that go
through mediation without resolu
tion are typically set for hearing on a
"It makes for better utilization of
court time," said Foster, predicting
that mediation will be adopted as a
statewide court procedure in the
During the pilot program's first
year in the three-county 13th
District, 63 percent of the court's
caseload ? more than one out of
every two cases ? was settled
through mediation. The district had
a 102.4 percent disposition rate for
the year ending June 30, with 411
new cases filed and disposition of
The rate was even higher in
Brunswick County, where 152 cases
were filed and 174 disposed, for a
114.5 percent disposition rate "I ast
year we had a 91.3 percent disposi
tion rale," he said.
Mediation is based on the idea of
give-and-take by both parties, with
neither side winning or losing 100
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"The goal of the mediator is 10 di
rect negotiations to "some reason
able settlement," said Foster. "I hope
our school board and board of com
missioners are able to utilize it to the
The mediator may talk privately
with each party involved, or in the
case of the two boards, confer with
one board or another, or allow mem
bers of a board time to confer
among themselves. "He gives them
directions for negotiating, if they are
not able to reach an agreement, the
mediator declares an impasse and
the case goes on to Superior Court."
In this case, by a state law which
gives the budget appeal process top
priority on the court's calendar, it
would be heard during the next ses
sion, which begins Aug. 16.
During mediation, while the two
boards can concur on the framework
of a compromise behind closed
doors, each must approve any agree
ment reached by a vote taken in
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