RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A white man who fatally shot an unarmed black man after reporting “hoodlums” has been found guilty of first-degree murder in North Carolina.
News outlets report that the jury spent less than two hours deliberating before finding Chad Copley guilty of premeditated murder in the death of 20-year-old Kouren-Rodney Thomas, who was attending a party near Copley’s home.
Prosecutors had said Copley appeared bent on violence when he told 911 operators he was “locked and loaded” to confront people he described as armed “hoodlums” and launched a “surprise attack.”
Defense attorneys acknowledged Copley fired the fatal shotgun blast, but said he feared for his safety and was covered by the state’s Castle doctrine.
No gun was found at the scene.
Copley’s sentencing hearing is set for Friday.
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