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North Carolina man sentenced to life for killing 5-year-old

The shooting occurred in August 2020
North Carolina man sentenced to life for killing 5-year-old
Image source: Wilson, (North Carolina), Police Department

On Dec. 29, a North Carolina man pleaded guilty to the murder of a 5-year-old boy while he was playing outside with his siblings.

Darius Sessoms, 25, received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2020 shooting of Cannon Hinnant. Sessions entered an Alford plea, maintaining his innocence but conceding that the state had enough evidence to convict him. Sessoms dodged a possible death sentence by entering a plea.

Authorities say that on Aug.9, 2020, Sessoms put a gun to Hinnant’s head as the 5-year-old was riding his bike, and he pulled the trigger. His 7-year-old and 8-year-old sisters witnessed the killing.

Another neighbor witnessed the shooting as well but initially thought it was a game.

“My first reaction was he’s playing with the kids,” Dori Lybrand said per WRAL-TV. “For a second, I thought, ‘That couldn’t happen.’ People don’t run across the street and kill kids.”

Hinnant’s family claimed that there were no problems between them. Sessom’s parents said they believed their son was on drugs and experiencing hallucinations at the time of the murder.

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