MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Stroupe Sr. charges upgraded to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder

District attorney Greg Newman said in an interview Tuesday that charges for Phillip Stroupe II, the father of accused killer Phillip Stroupe I, have been upgraded to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

District attorney Greg Newman said in an interview Tuesday that charges for Phillip Stroupe Sr., the father of accused killer Phillip Stroupe II, have been upgraded to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

Stroupe Sr. already faced charges of accessory after the fact to first-degree kidnapping.

Authorities accuse Stroupe II of kidnapping and murdering Thomas Bryson while he was on the run from authorities last week. He currently faces more than a dozen charges, including first-degree murder, kidnapping, and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Newman said Stroupe Sr. had information that would have helped law enforcement locate Bryson.

"We find it unacceptable that they would do anything to assist (Stroupe II) avoiding detection by law enforcement, knowing full well he was being sought," Newman said Tuesday. "You'd have to live under a rock to not know that."

Stroupe Sr. had his first court appearance on the charge Monday morning in Henderson County.

Newman said father and son, currently both in the Henderson County Jail, might be kept in separate facilities due to security concerns.

Jennifer Hawkins, Frederick Badgero and Larry Hawkins III were charged Saturday, accused of helping Stroupe II avoid arrest during the manhunt. All three were re-arrested on Monday, and now each face felony accessory after the fact of first-degree murder.

Phillip Stroupe II was the subject of a five-day manhunt across multiple counties. Authorities said he kidnapped Tommy Bryson on Wednesday, July 26, in Mills River. At the time of his arrest on July 27, Stroupe II was driving Bryson's truck, but Bryson wasn't with him.

After an extensive search, Bryson's body was discovered in Arden on Sunday evening.

Stroupe Sr. spoke with News 13 on July 24 when authorities were searching for his son in the Pisgah National Forest. He pleaded for his son to turn himself in and said his son isn't a danger to the public.

"He don't look good because of all the tattoos, but I really don't think he's a danger to the public. He has had opportunities to be violent, and he hasn't been," Phillip told News 13 at the time.

"He's not a very violent person. He's probably, at this time, the same as every officer down there, very stressed. And he's probably tired, cold and hungry just like every one of them, and I would just like it to end peacefully," Stroupe Sr. continued when he spoke to News 13 last week. "And if I can contact him, I would do it so nobody gets hurt."

Stroupe Sr. is currently being held on a $750,000 bond.

The district attorney says a grand jury is set to convene August 21 to take up the cases, and additional charges could come then. He expects the proceedings after that to happen in superior court.

Newman also said he had discussed the case with Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams, since some of the charges originate in Buncombe, but decided together that the case belonged in Newman's district.

The last death penalty case in North Carolina was in 2006.

Newman said this would be his first death penalty case as a prosecutor.


Trending