Moments after the first law enforcement officer arrived, Dedrick Anders stood in the front yard of his mother-in-law’s home and said he had fired the single round that killed Eric Bowen.
Anders is charged with second degree murder in the Jan. 3, 2016 shooting of his brother-in-law. Investigators said there had been an ongoing property dispute between the kinsmen, but Anders was trying to avoid a confrontation.
Patrolman Adam Sellers of the Lake Waccamaw Police told a rapt jury Monday that he was the first officer at the home on Pocosin Road. While the home is outside the Lake department’s jurisdiction, officers regularly provide emergency backup for other departments close by.
Sellers said he has known Anders for “as long as I can remember,” and had been asked to intervene in a dispute between the two men some time before. He was on duty at Lake Waccamaw when the radio call went out about the shooting at Pocosin Road. Sellers arrived within minutes, and said there were quite a few people in the yard of the home.
“The first thing I heard was a lot of people praying,” Sellers said.
He told the court Monday that Bowen was lying head down in a ditch, with his legs on the bank. Sellers said that as he was taking in the scene, he heard a familiar voice calling his name. Anders was standing near his automobile, and told Sellers that he had shot Bowen in self defense, out of fear for his life.
Dedrick Anders shot Bowen with a .357 Magnum home defense round as Bowen approached the window of the car.
Superior Court Judge Kent Harrell of Pender County is presiding. Heath Nance and Allen Adams are prosecuting for the state. Anders is being defended by Bill Gore and Tara Gore, taking her place for the first time on a felony case as a member of the bar.
Gore said that the case should never have resulted in an arrest, and contends that the incident was a classic case of “castle doctrine” self defense.
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