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Death Penalty Sought For Man Accused Of Gunning Down 5-Year-Old Neighbor Who Was Riding His Bike In Front Of Home
Prosecutors in North Carolina wants to pursue capital punishment for Darius Sessoms, who is accused of shooting his 5-year-old neighbor Cannon Hinnant in the head as he was playing with his sisters outside their Winston home.
Prosecutors in North Carolina are seeking the death penalty for a man accused of fatally shooting his 5-year-old neighbor.
The Wilson County district attorney’s office announced that they will pursue capital punishment for Darius Sessoms, 26, who is accused of murdering Cannon Hinnant in August of 2020, the Charlotte Observer reports. A judge still has to sign off on that; the next hearing has been set for April.
Sessoms was indicted on one count of first-degree murder back in December.
Sessoms is accused of running up to Hinnant as the boy was riding his bicycle and playing with his two sisters outside his home in Wilson, North Carolina. Sessoms allegedly shot him in the head before fleeing the scene.
Sessoms had known the victim’s family for eight years. Just one day before the shooting, Sessoms had dinner over at the Hinnant family home. He also shared a beer with the child’s father out on the porch.
"There wasn't anything between me and him, any bad blood whatsoever, for him to have a reason to do this," Austin Hinnant, Cannon's father, told WRAL in 2020.
The boy’s mother, Bonny Parker, is supporting the state’s push for the death penalty, telling the Charlotte Observer, “nobody should get away with murdering a child.”
She wore a shirt with her slain son’s face on it during this week’s court appearance, WRAL reports.
"I pray he gets the death penalty. We will fight for that till the end. That’s what we’re hoping for," she told the outlet. "It would mean the closest we can get to justice for Cannon."
She also credits the father of her son’s accused killer for stopping the violence. She said he tackled his own son after the shooting.
“If it wasn’t for him,” Parker told the Charlotte Observer, “I would have lost all my kids. He could have lost his own life.”
The victim’s two sisters, ages 8 and 7, were present during the shooting.
A month after the shooting, Sessoms’ girlfriend Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit, 22, was charged with felony accessory after the fact for allegedly providing him with transportation so he could get from Wilson to Goldsboro after the shooting, where he was detained.