Charlotte Jury Finds York County Man Not Guilty In Murder Trial

Posted by Christopher Shumate | Dec 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

Michael Mead is a York County resident. He was accused of shooting Lucy Johnson (his then pregnant fiance') in 2008 and burning her home. Mr. Mead potentially faced the death penalty in this case. The trial spanned two months, and was moved to Charlotte from Gastonia due to pre-trial publicity. After approximately nine hours of deliberation, the Jury returned not guilty verdicts on both the arson and murder charges.

The prosecution's theory of the case was essentially that Mr. Mead wanted Ms. Johnson to have an abortion. As she refused, he became upset and murdered her. The Defense countered with evidence that Mr. Mead's mobile phone was used at his home fifty minutes from the crime scene at the time of the murder. The Defense also pointed to another potential suspect; an ex-boyfriend of Ms. Johnson, with whom she had a difficult relationship.

I did not participate in this trial, and I'm not familiar with the evidence. Thus, I cannot render specific opinions regarding such. However, the Observer article indicates the victim's mother was unhappy with the Gaston County DA's handling of the case. It is also my understanding that the Judge sanctioned the prosecution for discovery violations by awarding the Defense the last argument.

The actions of District Attorneys' offices in North Carolina have been a hot topic in recent months given recent legislative amendments regarding their duties to disclose information to defense counsel. It is interesting that this issue has yet again come up in such a high profile / important case, even as the N.C. legislature has relaxed the Prosecution's ethical duties.

CharlotteObserver.Com, Jury acquits Michael Mead, accused of killing pregnant fiance', 07/13/11

About the Author

Christopher Shumate

Mr. Chris Shumate is a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, and worked various jobs while pursuing his undergraduate and Juris Doctor education, including several heavy manual labor and skilled trade positions. In his practice, Mr. Shumate often encounters circumstances where these prior experiences are helpful in representing you. Upon graduating law school from the University of South Carolina, Mr. Shumate joined one of the Carolinas' larger defense firms, where he represented a diverse set of employers and insurance companies in civil cases and workers' compensation claims across the Carolinas. Chris utilized this experience to obtain a working knowledge of the insurance industry, and build personal contacts used today in representing you. Mr. Shumate ultimately decided he wanted to focus his law practice on assisting those who have been injured, and doing so with the focus on a personal relationship that is uncommon in the bigger firms. Mr. Shumate's also has a passion for assisting those facing the challenges of the criminal legal system. By representing individuals in a variety of criminal and traffic matters, Mr. Shumate works to achieve the best possible result for each client regardless of the charges levied by the prosecution. Chris has tirelessly pursued his mission of helping people from all walks of life throughout the Carolinas with a variety of legal matters. If you are interested in learning more about Chris Shumate and The Shumate Law Offices, please contact us at 704.371.5059. We look forward to assisting you to achieve a positive result in your legal concern. Education J.D., University of South Carolina B.S., University of South Carolina Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice N.C. State BarS.C. State BarU.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina Professional & Bar Association Memberships N.C. Bar Association S.C. Bar Association Mecklenburg County Bar N.C. Academy Of Trial Lawyers American Association For Justice


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