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DA Says Strickland Case Still Open

By Catherine M. Welch

Wilmington, NC – District Attorney Ben David says he will continue to seek criminal charges against a former New Hanover County deputy involved in the shooting death of an 18-year-old suspect.

David refused to say what charges he will pursue but says the case against former New Hanover County deputy Christopher Long remains open.

On Tuesday a superior court judge quashed an indictment of second-degree murder after the grand jury foreman testified that he marked the wrong box.

David says his representation of more than 800 sworn officers has made the last two weeks difficult.

"I know they have an incredibly difficult job to do, and that they serve and protect. And I know that these last two weeks have been very difficult for them. They need to know that they have the full support of my office, and they have my full support.

Long helped issue a warrant for robbery suspect Peyton Strickland when Strickland was shot and killed inside the doorway of his Wilmington home.

A spokesperson from Strickland's family says they support David's decision to keep the case open.

Long's attorney Michael McGuinness says the grand jury's decision should be respected. And called keeping the case open quote: a second bite at the apple.

McGuineess also says that if the case goes before another grand jury, that his client should be there.

"Let Chris testify. He was there, he's a critical witness, and it's necessary for any grand jury to hear it from him"

McGuinness says there is no indication of any new evidence. David says the investigation will continue through the month before the grand jury convenes in January.