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Second Arrest Made in Connection with Death of 5-Year-Old Cannon Hinnant

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Police in Wilson, North Carolina, has made its second arrest in connection with the August shooting death of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant.

Officers with the Wilson Police Department arrested 21-year-old Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit on Tuesday, according to a news release.

Pettit was charged with felony accessory after the fact and received a $250,000 secured bond.

The arrest comes more than a month after Cannon Hinnant was shot and killed on Aug. 9 while riding his bicycle in front of his home.

Darius Sessoms, 25, was charged last month with first-degree murder and was being held without bond in the Wilson County Jail.

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Austin Hinnant, the boy’s father, has lived next door to Sessoms and his parents for eight years, he told WRAL-TV.

Sessoms dined with the Hinnant family on the Saturday before the killing, Austin Hinnant said.

There were no rifts between the neighbors, Austin Hinnant said.

“There wasn’t anything between me and him, any bad blood whatsoever, for him to have a reason to do this,” he said.

A motive has not yet been disclosed, but police believe it was not a random act, the Washington Examiner reported.

Witness Doris Lybrand told WRAL-TV that she saw Sessoms run up to the boy, place the gun near his head and pull the trigger before taking off on foot back to his house.

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“My first reaction was, ‘He’s playing with the kids,’” Lybrand said.

“For a second, I thought, ‘That couldn’t happen.’ People don’t run across the street and kill kids.”

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Following Sessoms’ arrest, the boy’s mother wrote on Facebook that he will answer to her.

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The young boy will be remembered again this weekend at a celebration of life ceremony at Big Boy’s Truck Stop, WTVD-TV reported.

The Wilson Police Department is still looking for information on the case and encourages anyone with information to contact them at 252-399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith