GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Antwan Anthony, the man accused of killing three people execution style, appeared in court Thursday with his attorneys trying to get the death penalty off the table before his trial.
Anthony is the suspected gunman in the 2012 Hustle Mart murders in Farmville. He is the first of four suspects to go to trial. The trial is expected to start at the end of next month. His attorneys filed motions Wednesday and went before Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood this morning.
Anthony is held at Pitt County Detention Center. On Monday, he’ll go to Central Regional Hospital for a mental evaluation.
Anthony’s attorney, Terry Alford told WNCT, “My client is severely mentally ill and I do not believe the state should be executing severely mentally ill people.”
The District Attorney’s Office says they believe the death penalty is an appropriate form of punishment for Anthony. Even Anthony himself talked in front of the court saying he wants to go to a different place to get into a better mental state before trial. Judge Hobgood will wait for the results of the evaluation before ruling on the death penalty motion.
Alford also wanted to move the trial too out of the county. He argued that there was a large amount of publicity on the case, and he doesn’t want jurors to be quote, “tainted”. Judge Hobgood denied his motion.
The next hearing is set for September 23rd.