Hendersonville, NC (FOX Carolina) - Friday, district 42 District Attorney Greg Newman announced that 33-year-old Anthony Harrison Moore entered a plea of guilty on the charge of second degree murder.
Moore was charged with dousing gasoline onto Teresa Ann Prayto Stallings during an argument in December of 2017, then igniting her with a cigarette lighter.
“Moore was indicted for First Degree Murder and could have potentially faced the death penalty,” said District Attorney Greg Newman. “I had two issues of concern, however, with the evidence. The first is that the defendant is overheard on the 911 call asking Ms. Stallings why she lit the lighter. While the defendant admitted to dousing Ms. Stallings with gasoline, there is a dispute about who ignited the gas. The third party witness that called 911 also suggested Ms. Stallings ignited herself. The defendant said she was suicidal and they had been arguing about her leaving the relationship.
Second, Ms. Stallings gave a statement to a sheriff’s detective at the hospital, but this statement would not be admissible at a trial. Hearsay evidence is inadmissible unless a legally recognized exception exists, and in this case no exception applies. So, the plea to second degree murder by Moore is a good resolution given these challenges with our evidence,” added the District Attorney.
Stalling was transported by helicopter to the burn unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where she was treated until her death, six months later in June of 2018.
For his crime, Moore was sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison. The DA's office says he won't be eligible for parole until he has served at least 18 years.
“Ms. Stallings suffered for six long months and this incident has been difficult for her family, many of whom have met with me and were in court with us at the plea hearing. The Sheriff’s Department and Henderson County EMS did a great job in this case, which presented difficult circumstances. Our community is fortunate to have the benefit of their service,” said Newman.