Jurors stalled in deliberations
By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — Jurors in the Robert Douglas Earnhardt murder trial said they could not reach a decision during deliberations.
Earnhardt is facing first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of his stepfather, Billy Tommy Elmore. Elmore was shot in the back of the head Sept. 17, 2009, at the 165 Leisure Lane home that he shared with his estranged wife, Patty Kesler Earnhardt Elmore.
Billy Elmore had moved out of the home a week before his death.
Just before the noon break today, jurors sent a note to the court saying they could not reach a consensus.
Superior Court Judge Kevin Bridges told them to continue deliberations until they had reached a unanimous decision.
Earnhardt is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury for allegedly shooting Tiffany Marie Barbee in the wrist/arm area.
Barbee had driven Billy Elmore to the Leisure Lane home so that he could feed his dog.
Earnhardt, in written statements, said he was defending his mother. Earnhardt said he saw his stepfather draw a gun toward his mother and that’s when he fired. A warning shot Earnhardt said he fired struck Barbee.
Jurors also asked to go to the Leisure Lane property and Tamarac Marina.
Judge Bridges mulled over what he’d say to jurors once they returned to the courtroom.
District Attorney Brandy Cook said she would hope the judge would agree to deny the request because an on-site visit was not done during the trial. She also said the places have changed from more than two years ago.
Jay White, Earnhardt’s attorney, agreed, saying it’s been more than two years and it would also be improper for jurors to view the sites.
See Friday’s Post for more details.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.
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