NC father, son charged with beating man to death make first court appearance

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A Wilmington man and his son accused of violently beating a man who later died from his injuries appeared in court Tuesday morning on first-degree murder charges.

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Police said Leonard Cleon Pocknett, Jr., 43, and Leonard Cleon Pocknett III, 16, assaulted 58-year-old Gregory Gineman in the 200 block of Myrtle Avenue just before midnight on May 10. Gineman was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center after a witness called 911. He died May 26 after more than two weeks in the hospital.

RELATED: NC father and son arrested in assault; bonds total $3.5 million

In court, District Attorney Ben David said the father and son “acted in concert,” following Gineman for some time before they “beat the hell out of him.” He was beaten so badly teeth were found in his lungs, David added.

Pocknett, Jr. appeared first, and was given no bond. The state has not yet decided if they will seek the death penalty in the case.

Pocknett III appeared immediately after his father. His attorney said based on the 911 call it appeared the 16-year-old was not involved in the assault. David disagreed, claiming evidence suggested both the son and his father were involved. A judge kept his bond at $1.5 million. He is not eligible for the death penalty as he is under the age of 18.

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