Amerson’s 2014 mugshot, courtesy of the Sanford Police Department.

Two recent developments are likely to delay the murder trial of Pierre Amerson, whose case was set to begin on Monday in Lee County Superior Court.

Amerson faces charges of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the March 2014 shooting death of 15-year-old Thomas “Junior” Dolby Jr. on Pineland Street in Sanford.

But the North Carolina Supreme Court recently ordered that a defense motion for a continuance in the case to allow further time for an expert witness to prepare testimony which had been denied and subsequently appealed in December be granted, meaning that when the court convenes Monday, it will likely be to determine how much more time the defense needs.

Additionally, one of Amerson’s two defense lawyers – Sanford attorney Fred Webb – has filed a motion to withdraw from the case, citing a conflict with one of the state’s potential witnesses. It’s unknown if that motion has been heard or will be heard on Monday. Defendants facing the death penalty if convicted are required to have two attorneys. Amerson’s other attorney is Emilia Beskind of Durham.

After the shooting in 2014, Amerson eluded custody for several days before being located and detained at a Fayetteville-area motel, according to this contemporaneous report from the Sanford Herald (subscription required).

The same report described Dolby, known to friends and family as “Junior,” as “a great kid” and a “wonderful person.”

“He was a good young man,” (former West Lee Principal Melvin) Marshall said. “This is something we are still finding a way to grapple with. The one thing about Junior was the smile on his face. He had so many friends at West Lee, and he was just one of those young men you could look at and see that smile on his face. That was Junior.”

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