Woman Charged After 5-Year-Old Boy Shot in the Head: Officials

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
September 24, 2020Updated: September 24, 2020

Officials charged a second person in connection with the death of Cannon Hinnant, a young North Carolina boy who was shot and killed while riding his bike.

Police arrested Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit, 21, on Sept. 22 and charged her with felony accessory after the fact. Reports said that Pettit was allegedly suspect Darius Sessoms’ girlfriend.

Sessoms is accused of shooting and killing Hinnant, 5, at point-blank range while he was playing in his front yard in Wilson, North Carolina. He was charged with murder in the case.

Family members said that Hinnant was slain in front of his young sisters.

Prosecutors said Pettit knew that Sessoms shot a young boy and helped him leave town, providing transportation for him, according to WRAL. Sessoms was found hiding in a home in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Epoch Times Photo
Aolani Pettit and Darius Sessoms (Wilson Police Department)

Pettit’s next court date is Oct. 12.

Last month, Hinnant’s mother, Bonnie Waddell, told WSOC-TV that she wants the death penalty meted out in the case.

“I want the death penalty and I’m gonna seek it,” she said. Sessoms was charged with first-degree murder, and capital punishment is a legal penalty in North Carolina.

“My baby didn’t deserve this,” Waddell said. “He had the biggest smile, the biggest eyes.”

Cannon’s father, Austin Hinnant, said Sessoms had been a neighbor for about eight years.

“[You] can’t imagine what it’s like to hold your son in your arms with a gunshot wound to the head, and his blood is running down your arms,” he said, according to local media outlets. Hinnant said Sessoms and his family had no problems, adding that he had the suspect over for dinner on the day before the shooting.

A GoFundMe for the boy’s family has raised more than $813,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.