Darius Nathaniel Sessoms is a black man from Wilson, Wilson County, North Carolina, United States. At around 5:30 p.m. on August 9, 2020, he fatally shot his neighbor Cannon Hinnant, who was born in 2015.
Sessoms ran up to Hinnant, put a gun to the boy’s head, fired and ran back to his own house, their neighbor Doris Lybrand, who witnessed the shooting, told WRAL. At the time, the boy was playing with his sisters, who were born in 2012 and 2013.
“He was my neighbor for years,” Hinnant’s mother Bonny Waddell told WDBJ7. “We always spoke when we seen each other. It was, we never, never ever had arguments with each other.”
Hinnant was taken to Wilson Medical Center in Wilson, where he died. Here are 13 things about Sessoms:
- He is Garland Thomas Sessoms and Carolyn Diane Sessoms‘ son.
- His brother Joshua Thomas Sessoms is a former North Carolina State football player and a former science teacher at Southern Nash High School in Bailey, North Carolina, where he was charged with raping students and other underage girls, according to the Nationalist Review.
- He previously lived in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
- In March 2016, he was convicted of felony larceny of firearms in Wilson County.
- In April 2016, he was convicted of misdemeanor maintaining a place for a controlled substance in Wake County, North Carolina.
- In November 2016, he was convicted of felony marijuana possession in Nash County, North Carolina.
- In 2017, his probation was revoked twice. It resulted in separate three-month stints in prison.
- On August 8, 2020, he had dinner with his neighbor Austin Hinnant, the father of Cannon.
- After shooting Cannon on August 9, 2020, he fled the scene in a black 2019 Toyota Corolla displaying North Carolina registration plate number TCH-2773. The vehicle’s front bumper was missing.
- On August 10, 2020, he was arrested in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He was located inside a residence there by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, Goldsboro police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with first-degree murder and was held with no bond in the Wilson County jail. When he was arrested, he had two pending counts of felony maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance in Wilson County, according to Daily Mail. His then girlfriend Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit was also arrested and charged with felony accessory after the fact.
- During a 10-minute court hearing in the morning of August 11, 2020, he rejected an attempt to have a Wilson County District Court Judge appoint an attorney for him as he planned to hire his own lawyer. His probable cause hearing was set for August 25, 2020.
- In October 2022, the death penalty became an option for him as a judge ruled to try the case as a capital murder trial.
- He was 28 years old when he agreed to an Alford plea on December 29, 2022 in the first-degree murder of Cannon. A judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole at the Wilson County Courthouse in Wilson. Pettit pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to four to 14 months, all suspended, along with 18 months supervised probation.