Friday, March 24, 2023

Young brothers plead guilty to northern Pender County murder

Brett Young, left, and his younger brother Austin Young pled guilty to second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, respectively. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy District Attorney Ben David’s office)

PENDER COUNTY — Brett Adam Young, 26, pled guilty on Friday to the killing of Deonte Pearsall using a semi-automatic rifle while his younger brother, Austin Young, received a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter after cooperating with law enforcement.

On June 1, 2017, the Youngs traveled from Duplin County to Church Street in northern Pender County to sell marijuana to Pearsall and his brother, Dashaun Pearsall, according to District Attorney Ben David’s office.

“After the unarmed Deonte Pearsall robbed Austin Young of the marijuana and ran off, Brett Young shot him twice in the back with an AR-15 from approximately 40 yards away,” according to a release from the district attorney’s office. “After Deonte Pearsall was felled the brothers went up to the victim, who was still breathing, and took the marijuana back.”

The Young brothers attempted to escape the area but were detained at gunpoint by an off-duty Wallace police officer. Deonte Pearsall died at the scene as a result of the shooting.

The Young brothers have been incarcerated since the June 2017 incident. Brett Young pled guilty to second-degree murder on Friday before Judge Kent Harrell in the Pender County Superior Court. He was sentenced to 25 to 31 years in the Department of Adult Correction.

After agreeing to cooperate with law enforcement, Austin Young entered a plea of voluntary manslaughter on Friday and was sentenced to 64 to 89 months in the Department of Adult Correction.

“The hard work of the Detective Mark Lobel of the Pender County Sheriff’s Office was instrumental in obtaining the guilty plea from these defendants,” David said.

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