Two murder trials commence in Lumberton
Jury selection began this morning in a pair of unrelated murder trials in Robeson County.
Anthony Edric Pinkston, 31, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 57-year-old Andy Oxendine.
Pinkston could face the death penalty if convicted.
According to investigators, the Laurinburg man was among a group of people that went to the Lumberton home of Oxendine's son on Dec. 7, 2007 and knocked on the door. When the door opened, Pinkton and another man rushed inside.
Pinkton allegedly shot and killed Oxendine with a shotgun during a struggle. Three other people were struck, but none were seriously injured, according to authorities.
Pinkton is represented by attorneys Wayne Bray and Paul Herzog. Assistant District Attorney Joseph Osman is prosecuting, and Superior Court Judge Robert F. Floyd is presiding.
Jury selection also began this morning in the murder trial of a Robeson County painter accused of killing another man over a pay dispute two years ago.
Joshua Eugene Speights, 21, was shot in the head on Oct. 11, 2008. Henry Stephens, 44, of Lumberton was charged with first-degree murder.
The shooting was reported around 7 a.m., lawmen said. Witnesses said Speights, who had worked for Stephens, went to the painter's home that morning to collect money owed to him for past work.
The men argued over Speights' pay, authorities said, and Speights was shot dead.
Deputies found the body in Stephens' backyard, lawmen said.
Assistant District Attorney Martha Duvall is prosecuting the case, and Stephens is represented by Lumberton lawyer Carlton Mansfield. Superior Court Judge Gary L. Locklear is presiding.