A shocked North Carolina community is demanding that a 17-year-old accused of killing two other teenagers be tried as an adult and faces the death penalty – as grieving family members find themselves ‘living a nightmare’.
Questions continued to swirl Tuesday, three days after the bullet-riddled bodies of 14-year-old Lyric Woods and 18-year-old Devin Clark were found on a wooded trail in the rural town Orange County.
Police are now searching for an unidentified 17-year-old in the double murder, but news that the suspect will not automatically be tried as an adult under state law has sparked a fierce public outcry as the victims’ families remain in the dark about how the cases unfolded the murders.
“I’m living a nightmare,” Woods’ heartbroken grandfather, Stan Dean, told the News & Observer. Dean offered a $10,000 reward for the capture of the person or persons responsible for the murder.
“Cash! I need results!” he wrote on Facebook.
Dean told the paper he planted a cross with lights on it at the spot where his relative’s body was found because the teenager was “afraid of the dark”.
Residents of the area, meanwhile, demanded justice and hoped for a harsh punishment for the alleged shooter.
“It’s a shame he’s a minor…he deserves to be prosecuted and the death penalty,” commented Facebook user Kevin Rigsbee, a firefighter and EMT in Durham County.
“Tried as a minor? The death penalty or life is not [sic] enough for the pain both sets of parents will go through from here on out because of this crime against their children,” argued Tripp Taylor, another commenter from nearby Graham, NC.
Clark’s aunt, Crystal Hughes, told WTVD that unanswered questions are weighing on the family as they grieve.
“It’s hard for us to process everything that’s happening because we don’t have the details,” she said.
“And we, really, our lack of information and we’re just not comfortable with the things that we’re hearing and all the different sides of the story that we know, hoping that the police department in the investigation goes as supposed to do. go. But it’s hard for us.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Clark, a student at Eastern Alamance High School who went missing around 11 p.m. Friday, was found dead Sunday along with Woods, a freshman volleyball player at nearby Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough.
Woods was last seen getting into a car by a neighbor around 3 a.m. Saturday. She is believed to have left her stepfather Efland’s home through the back door, which was later found unlocked. She was reported missing around noon on Saturday.
Although Clark and Woods were from different cities, they lived in the same small, somewhat rural community intersected by I-40 and I-85 and were friends.
Their high schools honored them with a moment of silence at a football game Monday night before the bodies were officially identified.
Cedar Ridge students wore white T-shirts with Woods’ name on them to school Monday. After the bodies were identified, the teenager’s friends shared their sadness and disbelief on social media.
“[W]why… this hurts more than anything in the world,” a young friend wrote on Instagram.
Another friend, Yanna, captioned a series of Woods’ videos with the words “[M]a lyric [this s—t] ruff. I don’t do good man. i miss you so much now! I need one of your silly jokes or random crap you say to cheer me up.”
A separate Instagram account, @rememberinglyric2022, was opened on Tuesday. The latest post, which included a selfie of Woods with makeup and wavy hair, was captioned “Her smile is everything” alongside the hashtag @rememberinglyric2022, .
Woods’ sister Caroline also posted a tribute on Instagram.
“[R]it is easy for my beautiful sister and my beloved friend [sic],” she wrote.
“Even when he was at his lowest, he found a way to make everyone smile and laugh. I know you’ll always be watching over me, especially tonight, as I try to find a way to process all of this.”
“I would never expect this to happen to him,” Clark’s friend Dontrell Lee told WTVD.
“The way it came out hurts a lot.”
Both Lee and another friend, Erik Battle, attended the balloon release in Clark’s honor Monday at the East Alamance football field.
“I have to face the fact that I’m going to be here for the rest of my life until I walk out the other side, not needing my brother or being able to hear my brother’s voice,” Battle said.
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Source : www.atinkanews.net