17-year-old charged with murders of Orange County teens appears in court

Issiah Ross made his first court appearance today in Orange County.
Issiah Ross made his first court appearance today in Orange County.(NBC)
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 2:09 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2022 at 4:56 PM EST
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ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - The 17-year-old charged with the murders of Lyric Woods and Devin Clark appeared in court for the first time on Tuesday.

Issiah Ross, who went to school with Clark at Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane, is being tried as an adult. He has been in custody since Oct. 5th.

The bodies of Woods, 14, and Clark, 18, were found on Sept. 18th off of a remote ATV path.

18-year-old Devin Clark and 14-year-old Lyric Woods
18-year-old Devin Clark and 14-year-old Lyric Woods(Source: WRAL via CNN)

Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said after the murders, Ross escaped to Delaware, before the FBI tracked him down and detained him.

An Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said Ross had not been living in North Carolina for long. School records showed that Ross went to Eastern Alamance with Clark, but only for six days, at the beginning of the school year.

Family members say Clark, a football player, and Woods, a student at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, were good friends.

Orange County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Neiman said that even though Ross will be tried as an adult, no one under 18 is eligible for the death penalty. The most serious punishment is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Ross’ appearance in court lasted only two minutes. His next court date is scheduled for Dec. 13th.

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