Brothers charged in NC murder that was drug deal gone wrong, officials say

WILLARD, N.C. (WECT) — Investigators called a Thursday night shooting death in Pender County a drug deal gone wrong.

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Two brothers are facing murder charges after being charged with the shooting death of Deonte Jamal Pearsall, a 23-year-old from Willard. Austin Luke Young, 20, and Brett Adam Young, 23, from Teachey, were denied bond at their first court appearance Friday.

According to investigators, Pearsall went to buy drugs from the Youngs, and when Pearsall got there, he took the drugs and ran.

That’s when the brothers chased Pearsall in their car, crashing into a ditch near Hwy. 117 North in the area of Church Street around 9 p.m. Thursday night.

The older brother shot the victim in the back and he died at the scene, police said.

Two bags of marijuana and an AR-15 rifle were found at the scene.

No injuries were reported from the wreck.

The Young brothers, who were given court-appointed attorneys, are scheduled to be back in court June 14.

District Attorney Ben David said his office will likely pursue a felony murder conviction and also plans to charge the Youngs with conspiracy to sell marijuana.

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“It’s too early to make a determination on a capital case as it always is, in terms of the ultimate punishment,” David said. “That’s a decision that is made after we convene a panel.”

Jason Smith is the lead prosecutor.

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