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The district attorney's office declared Monday that it will seek the death penalty against a Claremont man accused of murdering three people and severely injuring another earlier this year.
Everette Hewitt, 32, was arrested March 16 and is charged with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
Investigators say before his arrest, Hewitt used crack cocaine at the home of Wade Sigmon, 52, of 2300 Emmanuel Church Road, along with the three other victims.
After Hewitt left the residence around 2:30 a.m., he returned about two hours later and allegedly shot and killed 51-year-old Susan Kay Blevins, 42-year-old Connie Canipe Miller, as well as Sigmon. Joseph Burke, 38, was also shot during the robbery, and he was the only victim to survive the incident.
After Burke called 9-1-1, authorities embarked on a 24-hour manhunt before finding Hewitt asleep at his girlfriend's residence in Conover.
Assistant District Attorney Eric Farr said there are particular factors that make Hewitt's case a capital one offense, but would not specify the factors.
"There's not a requirement to list that information, and it could also affect the trial if it was released," Farr said.
Hewitt's lawyer's also said Monday that they intend to pursue a Racial Justice Act if Hewitt is convicted.
Hewitt is in Catawba County Jail with no bond.
In another murder trial
Pre-trial motions started Monday for a 2008 murder case revolving around the murder of 17-year-old DeAngelo Davis Miller.
Adrian Harrison, 23, is one of three suspects charged with first-degree murder for Miller's death and was in court Monday for jury selection and other pre-trial motions.
Harrison, along with his brother Keon, 23, and Dane McCready, 22, are all accused of leaving a party at the White Oak Manor town homes off Frazier Drive after an argument. Later that night, the men allegedly returned and shot Miller to death.
After the suspects left in a car, a Catawba County Sheriffâ€™s Deputy spotted the vehicle heading west on U.S. 70 toward Hickory. Claremont Police Chief Gerald Tolbert previously told The Observer News Enterprise a chase ensued down the highway at speeds up to 120 mph.
Someone in the car tossed the gun out the window between Claremont and Conover before the car wrecked on a bridge about a mile southeast of Fairgrove Church Road intersection, Tolbert said.
Tolbert said that there was only one shooter, but none of the three men would admit to pulling the trigger.
All three suspects have been released from jail after posting bond.