Indictment: 16-year-old used folding knife in musician’s stabbing death

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Cory Grant Sullivan (Photo courtesy New Hanover County Jail)
Cory Grant Sullivan (Photo courtesy New Hanover County Jail)

A Wilmington teen recently charged as an adult in the stabbing death of 39-year-old Ben Privott was indicted by a New Hanover County Grand jury on a murder charge this week.

Cory Grant Sullivan, 16, was indicted Monday on charges of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, breaking or entering into a motor vehicle and misdemeanor attempted larceny, according to court records.

Sullivan was originally charged as a juvenile in Privott’s death. A popular area musician, Privott was found at 2 a.m. April 22 fatally stabbed in the front yard of his Bracken Fern Drive home near the Kings Grant area. According to the indictments, Cory is charged with killing Privott and robbing him with a black folding knife with a 3-and-a-half inch blade.

Sullivan was 15 years old on April 26 when he was arrested and charged in the case. The charges in the case were transferred from juvenile court to superior court on June 16, following a two-day hearing before New Hanover County Judge J.H. Corpening II.

Because of his age, the teen’s name was withheld from the public until the conclusion of the transfer hearing in mid-June.

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.

In a press conference the day of the teen’s arrest, New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon called Privott’s death a “random act of violence.” Privott was a well-known in the Wilmington area and played in various groups, including No Dollar $hoes, Pale Rider, Creekside and Onward, Soldiers.

Sullivan remains at the New Hanover County Juvenile Detention Facility without bond.