Man sentenced in Lilac Court shooting death

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Nicholas Bannerman
Nicholas Bannerman

A Wilmington man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his involvement in a drug deal that led to the shooting death of a 51-year-old man in October 2013.

Nicholas Terrell Bannerman, 21, pleaded guilty July 20 in New Hanover County Superior Court to charges of second-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. On Monday, Superior Court Judge J.D. Hockenberry sentenced Bannerman to 180-228 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections, according to a clerk of court.

Bannerman was one of three suspects charged in connection with the robbery and death of Angelo Freeman, who was shot several times at his Lilac Court home on Oct. 1, 2013.

Bannerman and two co-defendants in the case — 19-year-old Rammaj Walker and 21-year-old Tre Scott — went to Freeman’s home in an attempt to steal marijuana and money, according to Assistant District Attorney Timothy Severo.

Bannerman texted Freeman to arrange a drug deal at the victim’s home. Prosecutors say Bannerman drove Scott and Walker to Freeman’s house. When Freeman opened the door to let Bannerman in, Scott and Walker  forced their way into the home, according to District Attorney Ben David.

“A struggle ensued…Freeman was struck on the forehead and shot in the thigh in his living room. He was shot once in the left side of his chest and the bullet came to rest in his abdominal wall,” David said. “He made it to his bedroom where he was fatally shot at close range in the back with the bullet striking his heart.”

The three defendants took Freeman’s money and drove away from the victim’s home, David said.

Freeman’s body was found on the floor of his home by a close family friend, Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said. Bannerman was arrested in the area of Queen and 17th streets the day after Freeman’s body was found.

Through their investigation, Wilmington detectives found a call from Bannerman on Freeman’s phone, Severo said.

Scott and Walker were arrested in the weeks after Freeman’s death in October 2013. Severo said police later found the gun that was used in the shooting while arresting the other two suspects in the case.

Scott and Walker have each pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon in the case. Scott pleaded guilty to the charges Oct. 15 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Walker pleaded guilty Aug. 12 and was also sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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