Nearly a year after December murder, suspect makes his first appearance in court to face charges

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Damian Maurice Gore speaking with attorney Fred Owens ahead of his first-appearance in New Hanover County District Court on a first-degree murder charge. Photo by Christina Haley.
Damian Maurice Gore speaking with attorney Fred Owens ahead of his first-appearance in New Hanover County District Court on a first-degree murder charge. Photo by Christina Haley.

WILMINGTON — A Wilmington man, extradited to New Hanover County from Georgia, faced a murder charge Wednesday morning in the December 2015 shooting-death of 30-year-old Rashaun McKoy.

Damian Maurice Gore, 26, appeared before Judge Sandra Ray in New Hanover County District Court to face several felony charges, including first-degree murder and was ordered to remain at the New Hanover County jail without bond.

Gore is charge with the death of McKoy, who police found dead on Dec. 30, 2015. McKoy was pronounced dead at the scene in the 300 block of Westchester Road in south Wilmington at around 3 a.m., according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Cathryn Lindsay. Police found McKoy as they were investigating reports of shots fired in the area.

At the time of McKoy’s death, Lindsay said the murder case could be drug-related.

The murder case had been unresolved for nearly a year, until Gore’s arrest in Fulton County, Georgia, last week. On Oct. 25, U.S. Marshals arrested Gore and placed him into custody at the Fulton County Jail.

Damian Maurice Gore
Damian Maurice Gore

He was extradited and placed at the New Hanover County jail on Tuesday, according to jail records. Along with the first-degree murder charge, Gore is also facing additional charges of possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen firearm, larceny of a motor vehicle, communicating threats, simple physical assault and child abuse. Gore has six pending misdemeanor charges in district court.

According to the North Carolina Department of Corrections, Gore was previously convicted of four felonies. He served five years in prison for convictions of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflict serious injury and attempted first-degree burglary (2008). He most recently served about six months on charge of felony possession with intent to sell or deliver a schedule I controlled substance as well as a probation violation, and was released in August 2014.

In court Wednesday, Attorney Fred Owens appeared on behalf of the defendant. But Gore, who is facing a maximum punishment of life in prison or the death penalty, was order by the Judge to be appointed an attorney with the Capital Public Defenders Office. Assistant District Attorney Brad Matthews represented the state at Gore’s first appearance.

Gore’s case is scheduled for New Hanover County District Court on Nov. 17.