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Murder suspect Doreen Richardson makes tearful first appearance in court

First appearance

Doreen Richardson

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A woman accused of shooting her cousin to death made a teary-eyed first appearance in court Thursday to face first-degree murder charges.

She is charged in the death of Quavist Diwaun Phillips, 20, who was found in the middle of the road with a gunshot wound Tuesday morning.

Doreen Tamara Richardson, 23, appeared Thursday in Rowan County District Court before Judge Charlie Brown. Before entering the courtroom, Richardson could be heard sobbing. She was led into the room wearing a khaki Rowan County jail-issued jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled.

A bailiff handed Richardson a tissue as she answered the judge when he asked if she wanted a court-appointed attorney. She seemed unsure whether she wanted to hire her own attorney or ask the court to appoint one for her. A woman in the audience could be heard saying, “Yes.”

Rick Locklear was appointed as Richardson’s provisional attorney. A second attorney through the indigent defense program was not yet appointed.

Judge Brown told Richardson that the maximum penalty she could face is death. He also ordered that she not contact anyone in Phillips’ family by any means.

On her way out, Richardson blew a kiss to her family and could be heard crying as the door shut behind her.

The Salisbury Police Department says Richardson shot Phillips at the corner of Ackert Avenue and Tillman Street. He was found lying in the middle of the road beside his vehicle.

Richardson’s family later contacted Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten and brought her to him. Auten turned Richardson over to Salisbury police officials.

A family member who was in the courthouse Thursday said the shooting was an accident and the result of a dispute among family members. Police have not confirmed a motive.

A number of family members were in the courtroom during the first-appearance hearing. One of them declined to comment.

A probable-cause hearing was scheduled for May 23.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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