UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.:
The District Attorney’s office is requesting that the 15-year-old suspect be tried in Superior Court as an adult, according to a news release.
“My office is making an application to the court to bind the juvenile over to Superior Court to be tried as an adult,” District Attorney Ben David said in the release. “Unless and until the juvenile is transferred to Superior Court, my office is prohibited … from making further comment on the matter.”
According to the release, the suspect made his first appearance this morning before Chief District Court Judge J. Corpening. He remains in custody without bond.
A teenage boy has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 39-year-old Benjamin Paul Privott.
According to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, the arresting agency, the 15-year-old white male was also charged this morning with attempted robbery and breaking and entering into a vehicle.
Due to the suspect’s age and the ongoing investigation, Sheriff Ed McMahon could not give many details, but said “the community is safe” and they were not looking for any more suspects.
“This was a random act of violence,” McMahon said.
The incident occurred last Friday, April 22, when deputies were called to a home in the 700 block of Bracken Fern Drive near Kings Grant around 2 a.m. Responding officers found Privott lying in the front yard and road with a fatal stab wound.
“There was nothing this man [Privott] was doing that was illegal or suspicious,” McMahon said. “This was not somebody involved in anything devious or anything you and I wouldn’t do in our front lawns.”
McMahon gave no details on how investigators were able to find and arrest someone so quickly, citing legal reasons, but emphasized the victim was not targeted.
“He was doing nothing wrong,” McMahon repeated. “This was just a tragedy – a senseless, random act.”
The suspect is being held at the juvenile detention center with no bond.