CLAYTON – A Johnston County Grand Jury has returned a True Bill of Indictment against a Smithfield woman in the murder investigation of Harley Alexander Shirley.
Cassidy Lorene Hunter of Lee Trace Drive, Smithfield was originally charged by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office with accessory after the fact. A Grand Jury has now indicted the 21 year-old woman for the same felony offense.
On February 17 around 7:58pm, Harley Shirley, age 21, and Sophie Hagy, age 20, were at 1631 Josephine Road attending a vigil for a teenager who recently died. Two juvenile suspects reportedly opened fire on a vehicle that five people were sitting in, including Shirley and Hagy who were struck by the bullets.
Two people exited the car at the scene, as the driver sped away to get help for the victims. The driver traveled about three miles to Sheetz convenience store on Highway 42 West at Cornwallis Road. Shirley died in the store parking lot. Hagy, who was shot in the spine, was rushed to the hospital. She is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Hunter allegedly used a vehicle to drive the two teens suspects away from the scene. According to the Grand Jury indictment, Cassidy Hunter knew the two juvenile suspects had committed a felony and “…knowingly assisted those persons in attempting to escape and in escaping detection, arrest, and punishment by driving (the two juvenile suspects) away from the scene of the crime following the shooting and by providing false statements to law enforcement when interviewed.”
A search warrant obtained by a Johnston County sheriff’s detective said, “Deputies arrived on Josephine Road and learned that 5 people were sitting in a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta… It was reported that two suspects opened fire on the Volkswagen Jetta while it was occupied by five people.”
Shirley was sitting in the rear seat. Hagy was sitting in the middle back seat.
The search warrant indicated a number of items were seized from the car including four fired projectiles, a pink stun gun, metal fragments, a two-page letter, four blood swabs, a tan Nike hat with three defects and apparent blood.
Two others, Diana Sarah Jackson, 38, of Garner and Ferrell Nicholas Jackson, 19, of Garner, are both charged with obstruction of justice.
A motive for the double shooting has not been released.