Police in North Carolina have announced a new arrest in the shooting of five-year-old Cannon Hinnant, the girlfriend of the man accused of murdering the young boy.
According to WRAL in Raleigh, The Wilson Police Department announced on Tuesday night the new arrest of Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit, 21, in young boy Cannon Hinnant’s death.
She was charged with felony accessory after the fact and taken into custody.
On Wednesday, prosecutors alleged that Pettit knew her boyfriend, 25-year-old Darius Sessoms, had fatally shot the boy and arranged for him to leave town.
Sessoms, the Hinnant family’s next-door neighbor, was caught and charged with first-degree murder within 24 hours of the senseless attack.
They say she knew her boyfriend Darrius Sessoms, 25, had shot the child and that she helped him leave town, including providing him transportation.
Pettit requested an attorney to be appointed by the court, and her next appearance was set for October 12.
Sessoms remains incarcerated without bond on the murder charge amid the new arrest in Cannon Hinnant’s death.
Authorities say Cannon Hinnant was shot to death at point blank range by Sessoms on August 9, while the young boy was riding his bike near his home, The Raleigh News & Observer reported.
Sessoms’ mother has defended her son saying that he was in a drug-fueled haze at the time. Hinnant’s parents have called for the death penalty in the case.
In mid-August, Cannon Hinnant was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding his bicycle in the front yard.
Before the new arrest, numerous rallies have been held in Cannon Hinnant’s memory following his tragic death.
A GoFundMe for the family has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, Fox affiliate WGHP reported.
In late August, a group of about 350 motorcyclists staged a rally for Hinnant, where rallygoers also directed implicit criticism at the Black Lives Matter movement with the sale of T-shirts stating “all lives matter.” Cannon is white and his accused killer is Black.
However, Cannon’s family has denied the murder was racially motivated in interviews, with his mother simply calling her son’s death “devastating.”
Wilson police have not discussed what may have been a motive in the killing.
Numerous vigils and memorials have been held to honor Cannon. A motorcycle ride drew hundreds on Aug. 22.
Cannon Hinnant’s father Austin Hinnant said Sessoms was a neighbor for eight years and he even shared dinner with him a day before his son’s death.
“There wasn’t anything between me and him, any bad blood whatsoever, for him to have a reason to do this,” Austin Hinnant said, according to CNN.
Hinnant also told CNN that he doesn’t know why Cannon was killed, although he mentioned being filled with rage at Sessoms, who was frantically pacing in his yard in the immediate aftermath of the alleged murder.
The Wilson Police Department is continuing to investigate Cannon’s death, and have continually updated a press release page on their website with all official information released in the case.
Anyone with information pertaining to Cannon Hinnant’s death or the new arrest is asked to contact them.
The grieving father of a 5-year-old boy killed in North Carolina said the suspect has lived next door for eight years and he shared dinner with him a day before the shooting.