Heightened Courthouse Security Planned For Double-Murder Trial

The double-murder trial of James Richardson is set to begin March 14th at the Pitt County Courthouse and officials there say they are preparing for this high profile case.

The Sheriffs Office says deputies will be added inside and outside the courtroom in order to make sure everyone involved in the trial is safe along with anyone else who is attending the proceedings.

James Richardson is accused of gunning down 2 young men, Landon Blackley and Andrew Kirby, outside a Greenville nightclub- killing them in the summer of 2009. Richardson has claimed his innocence.

It's a high profile case emotionally charged by both sides and that's why court and local law enforcement leaders say they need more security. Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks expects to have about 8 officers inside the courtroom- twice the usual amount. Outside there will be more officers monitoring the halls and helping to get people through the metal detector. Elks says it's all about being prepared.

"We recognize there has been a lot of interest from both sides so therefore we are taking measures to be well prepared for the event that may arise during that time or the interest of the public at that time," said Elks.

Sheriff Elks says they are also working to make sure the transport of Richardson from the jail to the courthouse each day goes smoothly. Richardson is in jail under a $5 million bond.


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