North Carolina man accused of killing 5-year-old neighbor has first court appearance

North Carolina

Man sought after 5-year-old killed in North Carolina shooting. (Credit: Wilson Police Department/WNCN)

WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) – The 25-year-old man charged with shooting and killing a 5-year-old boy over the weekend in North Carolina had his first court appearance Tuesday.

Wilson police say Darius Sessoms shot and killed Cannon Hinnant at a home on Archers Road.

Cannon Hinnant

RELATED: Family now seeks justice after Wilson boy killed, man captured

Investigators quickly identified Sessoms as the suspect and began a manhunt.

Sessoms was captured Monday at a residence in Goldsboro by members of the Wilson Police Department with assistance from U.S. Marshals, Goldsboro police, and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

Man sought after 5-year-old killed in North Carolina shooting. (Credit: Wilson Police Department/WNCN)

Sessoms was transported to Wilson where he was charged with first-degree murder and received no bond.

On Tuesday, Sessoms appeared for about 10 minutes via video conference before a judge.

Sessoms has a probable cause hearing scheduled for Aug. 25.

Cannon’s family say they’ve known the suspect for many years while living near each other.

“We used to play together and I never thought he’d kill someone. A mother now has to lay her son to rest at 5 years old which she should never have to do. He’ll never be forgotten,” said Rachel Pipkin, a cousin of Cannon’s mother.

The city’s mayor was shaken by the tragedy and came out to pay his respects.

“I have a child that’s 5 years old. My heart broke right then. I went home right then and I took my baby and just hugged her,” said Carlton Stevens, the mayor of Wilson.

The family says Cannon was set to start kindergarten Monday, but say he’s now fulfilling a new mission with a higher power.

They say Sessoms’ arrest doesn’t bring Cannon back but that it does help them start to heal.

The family says they are now beginning the process of planning a funeral.

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