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Members of the Andrew Kirby and Landon Blackley families embrace after a guilty verdict was announced during the James Richardson murder trial at the Pitt County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)
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Members of the Andrew Kirby and Landon Blackley families embrace after a guilty verdict was announced during the James Richardson murder trial at the Pitt County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)

Richardson guilty on all counts

By Michael Abramowitz

The Daily Reflector

3 Comments | Leave a Comment

James Richardson was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday after family members of two men killed in 2009 requested no death penalty be imposed.

Richardson, 33, convicted on all counts in the deaths of Andrew Kirby and Landon Blackley, maintained his innocence.

“I'm innocent, and I stand on that,” Richardson said before Judge W. Russell Duke gave him prison sentences of 25-39 months and 73-97 months for discharging a weapon, followed by two consecutive life terms without possibility of parole for murder.

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I am sorry for referring to

I am sorry for referring to Richardson as a thug. It just came out in anger as I was typing. I do not try to start arguments on message boards online unlike some people. And I hope the guy who shot his own father last Fall I think it was also gets a similar sentence. They will have to prove it was premeditated in order for first degree murder though. And I doubt that case/trial will as much publicity. Richardson's trial got this much publicity because Richardson is a former Greenville star athlete who made it to the professional level, it was a drive by shooting, a double murder, and it took place in a hot spot nightclub in downtown which thousands of college students patronize each weekend. Safety has always been an issue for college students downtown and safety downtown has gotten worse over the last approximate 15 years. Greenville was living for years with a dark cloud over its head waiting for something like this to happen and the Greenville police made permanent changes safety changes as a result.

on to the next

I have tried to remain from posting comments, but I am fed up with all the name calling. You are intitled to your opinion, but lets not be elementary and call names and all that 2 year old stuff. his name is JAMES RICHARDSON and not "THUG" what if everybody started calling people out of their name? All families have lost and no one should be rejoicing. Now I am eager to see what is going to happen with the cases of the guy that shot and killed his father and lied and the young man that shot someone in the back last year. I hope it gets the same publicity, because crime is crime, and murder is muder!

If Richardson was innocent,

If Richardson was innocent, then why didn't he testify on his own behalf at the trial about his whereabouts and activities that night? The defense obviously knew that would be a very poor strategic move. The prosecution would surely have drilled Richardson in a cross examination with the mountain of evidence from numerous people who encountered Richardson that night who testified he was upset he got thrown out of the club, that he made threatening statements to the bouncers, that his own friend lent him the car that was seen in the drive-by shooting, that eyewitnesses saw him physically do it, that his clothing described by some eyewitnesses matched what he was wearing on a surveillance cameras earlier that night, etc. In murder trials, when a person is actually legitimately innocent, they usually are able to take the stand and give their account about where they were and what they were doing that does not prove inconsistent with the prosecution's allegations and witness' testimonies. If Richardson would have tried to defend himself, him doing so would have been a slam dunk for the prosecution. The best the defense could do in this trial was suggest a theory of possible doubt based on a few rather minor inconsistencies in some of the eyewitness testimonies. They never at any time showed any evidence about another person who might have been responsible. Reason being? That person does not exist. The victim's families showed much dignity when they did not support a death penalty. They can now hopefully move on knowing that this thug will remain locked up for the rest of his life playing basketball on his recess with other convicted murderers.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart