In a rural area of North Carolina, 12 year-old Emily Elizabeth Haddock was staying home from school because of strep throat. Both of her parents worked and left her by herself, her grandfather was to check on her later in the day. Also in the neighborhood that morning were five black youths. Van Roger Smith, 16, Sherrod Nicholas Harrison,19, Michael Graham Currie, 18, Perry Ross Schiro, 19 and Ryan Jermar White, 18 broke into Emily house, reportedly with robbery as a motive. While no one knows exactly what happened in the home, what is known is that Emily was found by her grandfather, dead from gunshot wounds.
Three of the suspects were given suspended sentences for other crimes and were free on probation at the time of the murder and two were repeat probation violators. At the time of the murder, Mr. Harrison was serving a concurrent 36-month suspended sentence, which he received in February 2006 for four burglary convictions. Mr. Currie is serving a concurrent suspended sentence for six crimes: Trespassing, simple assault, possession of stolen goods, unauthorized use of conveyance, breaking and entering and larceny. Mr. Schiro is serving a concurrent suspended sentence for five crimes: Assault, two counts of simple assault, possession of Schedule VI drug and possession of stolen goods.
The murder of Emily Haddock is being compared to the murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom, another black on white crime that went largely unnoticed in the media until bloggers picked it up. Does the seemingly nationwide media blackout on this story, another sign of media bias? Or is the murder of this girl less important than 6 adults being put in jail for beating another? Also, does the lack of details and reluctance of the coroner to release theri findings suggest, as some are insinuating, that the crime may also have been sexual in nature?