Hustle Mart Trial: Judge formally sentences Antwan Anthony to death penalty

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A judge formally sentenced Antwan Anthony to death following the jury’s recommendations on Tuesday afternoon.

The jury presented the judge with their decision after seven and a half hours of deliberations spread out over three days. They told the judge the factors the defense presented to save Anthony from execution didn’t outweigh the factors the state presented.

Video captured Anthony’s reaction to the sentencing decision and then the victim’s family’s.

The same jury convicted Anthony of three counts of first-degree murder for the Hustle Mart murders back in 2012. Surveillance video from the scene showed Anthony shooting three people execution style at the convenience store in Farmville.

The victims family members sat in the Pitt County courtroom as the verdict was read. They said the decision brings them a feeling of relief.

Family member Fathi Muhssen said, “Long and very painful years, justice was finally served today.”

Before the trial even started, Anthony also took a plea deal for two-separate murders in Edgecombe County.

During the case’s deliberations, the jury asked for testimonies, video and phone conversations.

The Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office worked together to bring the family justice and they are pleased with how Tuesday went.

District Attorney Kimberly Robb said, “I think the jury said, ‘When you commit this type of crime in our county that we’re not going to tolerate it, and that this is what’s going to happen if you do this type of crime in this county.'”

“Citizens should now have great confidence in their local law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office,” commented Sheriff Neil Elks.

Anthony’s lawyers said they will appeal the decision. Until then, he will sit in solitary confinement.

The last time someone in Pitt County was sentenced to the death penalty was in 2000.

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Jurors have recommended the death penalty in the sentencing phase of Antwan Anthony’s conviction in the Hustle Mart triple murder trial.

They’ve deliberated the question for just under eight hours over the course of three days; 7 hours and 37 minutes.

On Monday, Jurors requested a transcript of Dr. Jennifer Sapia’s testimony. She was the Psychologist who worked with Anthony while he was in Central Prison.

They also requested items including the Hustle Mart Video and Anthony’s phone conversations from jail. Anthony will either spend life behind bars or face the death penalty.

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Jurors tasked with deciding Antwan Anthony’s fate, only deliberated for an hour Friday before adjourning for the weekend.

It was a difficult day for family members of the victims as it marked four years since the actual crime when Anthony and three other accused men walked into the Hustle Mart in Farmville and killed three store employees.

Thursday, the state and the defense presented closing arguments in the sentencing phase of the hustle mart murder trial. The defense is asking the jury to spare Anthony’s life, claiming he deals with mental issues. The state is arguing Anthony knew what he was doing and should be sentenced to death.

Previously, the jury convicted Anthony for killing the three family members and store employees.

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The closing statements have ended in the sentencing phase of the Antwan Anthony trial. At this time, the judge will begin to instruct the jury.

According to WNCT’s Zora Stephenson, the state thinks Anthony deserves the death penalty after not only killing three people, but also being involved in a number of other infractions including previous murders, armed robbery, and assaulting correction officers.

The defense continued to bring up facts about Anthony’s upbringing and mental illnesses. They say he doesn’t deserve to die.

On Thursday, both sides used what they’ve been saying all along and put it into closing arguments.

At this time, the judge is expected to finish charging the jury tomorrow.

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Closing statements are taking place in the sentencing phase of the Antwan Anthony trial.

The state made their closing statement first.

District Attorney Kimberly Robb started by elaborating on the effects of Anthony’s actions, how it shattered not just the victims but the family and all the deputy’s and EMS personnel who responded to the call.

She then went on to talk about Anthony’s 13 aggravating circumstances which include previous murders, armed robberies, and assaulting correction officers.

She also discussed some of the mitigating circumstances the defense could argue like mental illness, lack of a father figure and a mother who wasn’t equipped with handling Anthony.

Robb ended by saying none of Anthony’s life circumstances outweigh the harm he’s caused.

The state said Anthony deserves the death penalty.

As of noon, the defense had not started their closing statement.

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The state continued making its case in the sentencing of Antwan Anthony on Wednesday.

Over the course of the week, the state called several witnesses to the stand. Witnesses explained to jurors how they knew Anthony and how he acted around them.

The defense argues Anthony suffers from many disorders, but some say Anthony may be exaggerating.

Shift Commander Jason Cahill said he was the one who looked after Antwan Anthony while he was serving time in a Connecticut prison for assault.

“He has threatened several people and has assaulted several correctional officers and seriously assaulted them,” said Cahill.

The next witness to take the stand also worked closely with Anthony in Maury Correctional in North Carolina.

The prosecutor questioned Dr. Jillian Fitch about Anthony’s mental state.

Fitch said Anthony would go into moods and it was mostly when lots of people were around.

“The staff reported Mr. Anthony was putting on a show when he is observed by others and he is able to turn it off and on demanding on the situation,” said Fitch.

Another witness who treated Anthony told the defense, “Your client is a bright human being. He understands things.”

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Convicted triple murderer Antwan Anthony will soon learn his fate.

Monday, the defense called a final psychiatrist to explain Anthony’s mental state to jurors.

The forensic psychiatrist to the stand and said Anthony was allowed to refuse treatment. He was diagnosed with a form of bi-polar disorder that is a “close-relative” to schizophrenia.

Anthony was admitted to the hospital 10 times before the age of 18, first of which was at age 10. That was the moment he was diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.

The forensic psychiatrist went on to surmise that the doctors’ handling of Anthony in Connecticut amounted to malpractice.

Tuesday, the state is expected to call a rebuttal witness.

Last week, a jury found Anthony guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the 2012 Farmville Hustle Mart killings.

The jury is deciding whether to sentence Anthony to death or life in prison.

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A Pitt County jury continues to hear testimony to determine whether they should sentence Hustle Mart murderer Antwan Anthony to death or give him life in prison.

Tuesday, both sides opted to waive opening statements.

The state called on the victim’s families and several correctional officers. The first was a family member of the three victims. The second was Gene Harrell from the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office. He talked about Anthony’s involvement in a 2012 murder case. The mothers of both of the Edgecombe County victims also took the stand.

An officer who was assaulted by Anthony at a correctional facility in Connecticut was also brought to the stand. The officer said Anthony told him he assaulted him because he thought he was someone else. The state showed video of the assault in the courtroom.

Lastly, the girl who Anthony assaulted in Connecticut testified.

Wednesday, the defense will start calling its witnesses in an attempt to create mitigating circumstances to spare Anthony’s life.

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Six weeks after jury selection began, there’s a verdict in the Hustle Mart murder trial.

Jurors reached a unanimous decision in convicting triggerman Antwan Anthony.

It took a little over an hour for jurors to convict him on three counts of first degree murder for the slayings of three Farmville convenience store workers four years ago.

Cameras weren’t allowed in the courtroom as the clerk read the guilty verdicts for Anthony. He sat quietly and often looked at one family member and shook his head.

The victims’ family looked happy after the jury reached its decision. 9 On Your Side spoke to them before the trial started and they were ready for justice.

Jurors got the case after attorneys delivered their closing arguments. The defense blamed Anthony’s long list of mental illnesses for the 2012 Hustle Mart murders. The state said he may have a mental illness, but he knew what he was doing the night of the murders.

Jurors also found Anthony guilty of felony murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Jurors will return to court Tuesday for the sentencing phase of the trial. They must decide whether to sentence Anthony to death or life in prison.

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The high-profile trial of Antwan Anthony is nearing its conclusion as both sides of the Hustle Mart murder case tried to sway the jury.

Closing arguments wrapped just before noon Monday. The trial got underway six weeks ago.

Anthony is the man that both the prosecution and defense say shot three relatives back in 2012 at the Farmville convenience store. Yet, each side told jurors a different story as to why he did it.

During Monday’s court session, the defense delivered their arguments first, blaming the triple murder on mental health issues.

The defense told jurors Anthony was never given help for his problems and has expressed remorse for what he did.

Meanwhile, the state told jurors that night back in 2012 was an adventure for Anthony, saying he scoped out the store previously, then took along three other suspects to rob the place before the night turned deadly.

The state reminded jurors of the testimony from two of the other suspects, claiming they were young and had no idea Anthony” was going to shoot the three victims execution style.

They showed the surveillance video once again.

After the jury comes back with a verdict, the trial will move into the sentencing phase if Anthony is found guilty of first degree murder.

The judge said in court Monday morning that Anthony” may actually speak to jurors during that phase.

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On Friday, both the state and the defense showed all of their evidence to the jurors. Now, it’s up to them to decide if Anthony is innocent or guilty.

Anthony was escorted out of the courtroom on Friday after making a scene, throwing his attorney’s papers and a cup of water.

After the incident, an officer held a taser next to him while his attorneys finished last minute items. Judge Robert Hobgood said he sent jurors home early because he didn’t want to split up the statements if they ran out of time Friday.

The last part of the evidence was from the state. They showed audio clips to prove Anthony understood exactly what was going on while he was in jail.

In the clips, you can hear Anthony screaming at his mother and other family members to get him out and to find a bondsman.

Closing arguments will begin at 9:30 on Monday.

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Lawyers are now one step closer to closing arguments in the Hustle Mart triple murder trial.

The defense rested Thursday in the trial of Antwan Anthony.

Its last witness was a doctor who treated the suspected triggerman right after the shooting. He claims it was an intended act because Anthony had weapons and identified a target.

Now the prosecution has a chance to call rebuttal witnesses.

Stay with 9 On Your Side for more details as they become available.

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The defense continues to present its case to the jury trying to prove suspected triggerman Antwan Anthony is mentally ill.

Lawyers called a man up to the stand Wednesday to go over the results of Anthony’s psychological tests.

Earlier this week, they heard from a psychologist who evaluated Anthony in jail.

After an outburst Tuesday by Anthony, a handful of deputies were on standby to provide security.

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On Tuesday, reports read in court showed the accused killer in the triple murder tried to commit suicide as a child.

The defense, which has never denied Anthony shot three people back in 2012, is showing jurors all the evidence of Anthony’s past to show his severe mental state.

Dr. Jennifer Sapia took the stand for a second day. She evaluated Anthony several times while he was serving time in prison.

Dr. Sapia said reports show Anthony viewed the world as a hostile environment and never trusted anyone. He said previously he wished the world would be “bombed”.

As a child and teenager, Anthony was admitted to many hospitals for mental illnesses, but once released, he wouldn’t continue taking his medicine.

Reports said Anthony tried to commit suicide several times throughout his life and heard voices in his head saying “he should die”.

At age 20, Anthony was sent to prison after records show he pushed a minor down the stairs, painted the victim with house paint, and then grabbed a kitchen knife and cut the victim in the chest.

While in prison, the defense said Anthony attacked an officer. That video was shown to the jurors Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Sapia said the attack was random and reports indicated he may not have taken his medicine, making him aggressive.

Anthony spent nine years in prison in Connecticut. He reportedly assaulted many inmates and guards while there.

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Day two of defense testimony continued Tuesday morning in the Antwan Anthony trial.

He’s the accused triggerman in the 2012 Hustle Mart murders.

A troubled youth and a lack of parental intervention created mental health issues for Anthony. That’s what his defense is arguing in the ongoing trial.

Jurors learned more about Anthony’s past from an account given by a psychologist on Monday.

The psychologist told the jury she talked with Anthony over a dozen times while he was in prison and she was the only person to take the stand Monday.

Dr. Jennifer Sapia said she’s the one who evaluated Anthony 12 to 15 times while he was in Central Prison. She said she looked at his history and studied his behavior growing up.

According to a teacher’s note in one of her reports, Anthony was aggressive in elementary school classes. In the note, the teacher said, “One time he loves me, one time he wants to smack me.”

Dr. Sapia said Anthony had an emergency referral for counseling when he was only five years old because he was trying to bite teachers.

In reports she testified about Anthony’s mother claimed her son was great at home and just had issues in school.

Anthony and his mother were supposed to attend counseling sessions, but she never took him or attended herself.

Anthony’s family members came to court Monday, including his mother. One was kicked out for trying to talk to Anthony.

Testimony will continue throughout the day.

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The state has rested its case against Antwan Anthony.

Witnesses for the defense will begin testifying Monday.

On Thursday’s third day of testimony, 18-year-old Raquan Blount was the first co-defendant to testify against his former friend Antwan Anthony. Blount said everyone was hanging out at a friend’s house before they decided to rob a drug dealer in Greenville.

For different reasons, the group decided against robbing the dealer and another potential store. He told the jury everyone but Willy Whitehead went into the Hustle Mart.

Blount said, when he heard the gun go off, he ran to the car and then went back in to get Anthony and their other friend. Blount said he went to his dad’s house the next day to burn his clothes and bury the gun.

All four agreed not to mention what happened the night before.

Blount said he knew police were looking for him so he turned himself in.

The other co-defendant Xavier Shamble took the stand just before noon. They showed Shamble the video from Hustle Mart, as his family was there supporting him.

Shamble wrote a letter to families and said, “I just want to know that I am truly sorry for the loss of your family.”

He then said he didn’t have any intent to kill them and is truly sorry.

Be sure to follow right here, and WNCT on Twitter at “@WNCT9” for more details.

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A judge didn’t allow cameras in the courtroom for Wednesday’s second day of testimony about what happened at the Hustle Mart in 2012.

However, more witnesses took the stand as well as others connected to the case. The medical examiner also gave testimony in front of the jurors.

Court dismissed at one and will resume Thursday.

On Tuesday, prosecutors said Anthony and three other suspects were driving back from Greenville after deciding not to rob a drug dealer. That’s when they passed the Hustle Mart and decided to rob it.

The defense said in court they aren’t denying Anthony shot the victims but say he has mental health issues. They told jurors he’s been in and out of hospitals since he was a child and his mother never followed up with doctors’ appointments or filled his medicine.

When Anthony was 19 he served time in a Connecticut prison. When he was released, he moved to North Carolina to live with his mother.

It was an emotional morning as a family member of all three victims took the stand. He said they were just trying to make a living when they were shot and killed.

The defense argued that Anthony never got proper medical attention for his mental illness.

A woman who called CrimeStoppers also took the stand.

Anthony could be sentenced to death if convicted.

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Opening statements started Tuesday morning in the case against accused Farmville triple murder triggerman, Antwan Anthony.

9 On Your Side has been following the Hustle Mart murder case since the killings in 2012.

Both the prosecutors and defense got the chance to talk Tuesday.

In court, the state told the 12 member jury that the murders happened because the four suspects, including Anthony, could not rob a drug dealer that they wanted to.

Prosecutors said, as they were driving back through Farmville, they saw the Hustle Mart and decided to rob it.

Prosecutors said, during the murders of the three family members who worked at the store, one suspect ran out as Anthony finished the job, shooting all of them execution style.

The defense said in court they aren’t denying Anthony shot the victims, but said he has mental health issues. They told jurors he’s been in and out of hospitals since he was a child and is unpredictable when he isn’t medicated.

Anthony demonstrated some of his nature during pre-trial motions, including once when the judge ordered Anthony to be restrained and wear a mask.

Court will continue Tuesday afternoon.

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All jurors have been selected in the Hustle Mart murder trial in Pitt County.

Twelve jurors and three alternates have now been seated in the case against Antwan Anthony. He’s the accused triggerman in the killing of three people in Farmville back in 2012.

Opening arguments will begin Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m.

The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office is deciding whether to hold court Wednesday and Thursday because hundreds of people are expected in the courthouse.

The state and Anthony’s attorneys have asked each potential juror over 20 to 30 questions. Many have been dismissed from jury selection because they heard about the case on media sites or their significant other worked at Maury Correctional Institution.

Attorney Tyrell Clemons said the case is one of the biggest cases Pitt County’s ever seen.

“In a typical trial, by now, the trial would have been over,” explained Tyrell Clemons, attorney. “Because of the magnitude of this case, with the capital aspect of it and they are charged with murder. It makes this case a very difficult case to put the jury with.”

Clemons believes jurors will be picked from Pitt County, without the court having to look elsewhere.

9 On Your Side did a little digging on how much it’s costing to hold Anthony during his trial.

It took almost four years to begin jury selection.

It costs $80 dollars per day, per inmate held in Pitt County.

While he spent time there and also in state prison, it still cost local taxpayers thousands of dollars to hold Anthony.

To hold all four suspects in the Hustle Mart murders, it’s costing taxpayers nearly half a million dollars.

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