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Authorities make second arrest in execution-style murder of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant


The North Carolina murder took place in front of the child's two young siblings

Image source: WAVY-TV video screenshot

Authorities have arrested a second suspect in the execution-style shooting death of North Carolina 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant.

What is a brief history?

Suspect Darrius Sessoms, a neighbor to the Hinnant family, reportedly walked up to Cannon as the child rode his bike in the street on Aug. 9.

Eyewitnesses say that they saw Sessoms pull out a gun and execute Hinnant in full view. Cannon's 7-year-old and 8-year-old siblings also witnessed the murder.

Sessoms fled the scene following the incident, but authorities arrested him a day later and charged him with first-degree murder in connection with the killing.

A GoFundMe page to benefit the family received more than $813,000 in donations before it was disabled.

What are the details?

Wilson County, North Carolina, police arrested 21-year-old Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit earlier this week. She was charged with aiding Sessoms after he reportedly murdered the child.

According to local reports, Pettit allegedly helped Sessoms flee from police before he was taken into custody the day after the shooting.

WTVD-TV reported that authorities charged Pettit with felony accessory after the fact. She received a $250,000 secured bond.

Sessoms remains jailed without bond.

The station reported that anyone with information on the case should contact the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.

Anything else?

Following Cannon's mid-August funeral, members of his family spoke out about the great loss of 5-year-old Cannon.

Cannon's grandfather, Merrill Race, said that his "beautiful" grandson loved to play outside.

"We shouldn't even be here," he said.

Of Sessoms, Race added, "That's evil. I never met this guy in my life, but that is one evil dude. He's [in jail] where he should be."

The child's stepfather, Lee Parker, said Cannon "meant the world" to him.

"I received the call, man," he said, recalling the moment he heard the devastating news of his young stepson's death. "I was riding down the road, and I just blacked out, couldn't even think for a few seconds. Took me a minute to register it."

Parker said that he and his family will never get past the child's murder.

"It'll never be behind us," he insisted. "He'll always be with us, but we're going to get through it."

Days before his funeral, Cannon's father said the family is relying on our faith in God to get through the dark times.

The child's mother has publicly announced that she wants prosecutors to seek the death penalty.

"This man will answer to me," Bonny Waddell reportedly posted on Facebook, according to the New York Post. "That man will see me and my son through my face! This sorry excuse as a human being will rot in hell."

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