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Phillip Stroupe II faces murder charges in Henderson County

Phillip Stroupe, II, was back in court Tuesday morning, this time in Henderson County to face capital murder charges. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Phillip Stroupe, II, was back in court Tuesday morning, this time in Henderson County to face capital murder charges.

During the appearance, a probable cause hearing date was set for August 22, 2017, in Henderson County and for August 17, 2017, in Transylvania County.

District Attorney Greg Newman says he will seek the death penalty against Stroupe. This after authorities charged him with first-degree murder for the death of Thomas Bryson.

Mr. Bryson's body was found Sunday night in the Arden area.

Newman says there is enough evidence to pursue capital murder.

There are still no details on exactly how Bryson died.

Authorities believe Stroupe kidnapped and killed him while Stroupe was on the run from authorities last week.

No one has been put to death in North Carolina since 2006.

The list of charges for Phillip Michael Stroupe II is as follows:

  • First-degree murder: Henderson County
  • First-degree kidnapping: Henderson County
  • Felony larceny of a motor vehicle: Henderson County
  • Felony carrying concealed: Transylvania County
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon: Transylvania County
  • Drive on closed/unopened highway: Transylvania County
  • Reckless driving to endanger: Transylvania County
  • Robbery with a dangerous weapon: Transylvania County
  • Felony flee to elude arrest with a motor vehicle: Transylvania County
  • Possession of methamphetamine: McDowell County
  • Fleeing to elude arrest: McDowell County
  • Failure to stop for a steady red light: McDowell County
  • Reckless driving to endanger: McDowell County
  • Resisting a public officer: McDowell County
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon: McDowell County

Three other suspects also charged with helping Stroupe will be back in court Tuesday to face new charges.

Frederick Badgero Jr., Jennifer Hawkins, and Larry Hawkins III made their first court appearance Monday before being re-arrested with additional charges.

The trio are now charged with felony accessory after the fact of first-degree murder.

They are being held right now on $200,000 bond each.

All three deny helping Stroupe and say they didn't call for help when he showed up at their house because they were afraid of him.

Also on Monday, the father of Phillip Stroupe, II made his first court appearance in Henderson County.

Phillip Stroupe, Sr is charged with felony accessory after the fact of first-degree kidnapping. He's accused of helping his son.

The judge told him he could face up to 17 years in prison if convicted. Stroupe Sr has asked for a court appointed attorney.

Community Coming Together

As a show of love and support, several community members are stepping up to help the Bryson family and honor Tommy Bryson.

On Wednesday, August 2, 2017, at 8:45 p.m., community members are going to line the Route 191 starting at South Mills River Road and traveling to Glen Bridge Road with candles.

Those would like to be a part of the event are asked to shine a light of candles from 8:45 p.m. until 9 p.m. along the side of the road.

And, two local students are collecting donations for the Bryson family.

The West Henderson High students said they know the family well and will be giving 100 percent of what's donated to the family. Click here to donate.


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