Wilmington boy, 16, now charged as adult in Privott death

PortCityDaily.com is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Ben Privott
Ben Privott

A Wilmington teen charged with the stabbing death of 39-year-old Ben Privott will face charges as an adult following a hearing in juvenile court this week.

Cory Grant Sullivan, 16, faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery and first-degree burglary in New Hanover County Superior Court, according to the district attorney’s office. The charges were transferred from juvenile court to superior court following a two-day hearing before New Hanover County Judge J.H. Corpening, II, which ended Thursday afternoon.

Sullivan was 15 on April 22 when he was charged in Privott’s death. Privott, a popular area musician, had been found lying in the front yard of his Kings Grant neighborhood home around 2 a.m. April 22, a Friday. He’d suffered a fatal stab wound to the chest, and investigators almost immediately emphasized the apparent attack had been random.

Four days later, Sullivan was arrested by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Because of his age, the teen’s name was withheld from the public until the conclusion of Thursday afternoon’s hearing.

In a press conference the day of the teen’s arrest, New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon called the Privott’s death a “random act of violence.”

Privott was a well-known musician in the Wilmington area and played in various groups, including No Dollar $hoes, Pale Rider, Creekside and Onward, Soldiers.

“This was just a tragedy – a senseless, random act,” McMahon said about the case.

According to New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jerry Brewer, Cory Sullivan’s father, Kyle Sullivan, is a volunteer chaplain with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. He has been volunteering with the sheriff’s office since 2013 and remains a volunteer.

Cory Sullivan will remain at the New Hanover County Juvenile Detention Center without bond at this time, Brewer said.