State Seeks Maximum In Dare Murder
The state will seek the death penalty against Clifton Eugene Spencer of Columbia who was indicted in April for the murder of Manteo waitress Stacey Stanton, Assistant District Attorney Nancy Lamb said Monday when Spencer faced a first appearance on the charge in Dare Superior Court.
Though first appearances arc usually handled in district court, Spencer appeared in superior court before Judge Paul M. Wright of Goldsboro to be advised of his rights and to have the status of his counsel reviewed.
Spencer and his family have retained Greensboro attorney R.O. Murphy as legal counsel, but Judge Wright said in such a serious case, an assistant or co-counsel is usually named. Spencer said he would contact Murphy some time during the day Monday to find out what he wished to do.
If Spencer had chosen, and if he was indigent, the court would have appointed an attorney to handle his case.
Spencer was recently returned here from New Jersey where he had been taken a few weeks after the killing to face charges of cocaine possession.
The grand jury also returned indictments against four people. Ricky M. Meekins was indicted for rape and first degree burglary, Paul Amos Jones, 26 of Norfolk, Va., and Richard J. Pond, 20 of Manteo, were indicted for drug offenses and Michael Leggett, 46 of Manteo, was indicted for breaking and entering the Weeping Radish Restaurant.