Police have made a second arrest more than a month after the gruesome murder of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant.
Authorities in Wilson County, North Carolina, have arrested 21-year-old Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit, charging her with aiding suspected killer Darrius Sessoms, 25, when he fled the scene of the shooting.
Sessoms, who lived next door to the Hinnant family and enjoyed dinner with them the evening before the killing, allegedly walked up to the 5-year-old boy and shot him at point-blank range while he was riding his bicycle Aug. 9.
Eyewitnesses recalled watching Sessoms pull out a gun and fatally shoot the child in plain view. The little boy’s 7- and 8-year-old sisters watched their brother’s murder.
According to local reporting, Sessoms then fled the scene, attempting to dodge police, and was assisted by Pettit. While Sessoms was taken into custody the following day, his alleged accomplice wasn’t arrested until this week.
Police have charged Pettit with felony after the fact. She received a $250,000 secured bond. Sessoms, however, has remained jailed without bond.
In the wake of Hinnant’s senseless murder, his mother, Bonny Waddell, said: “We lost a big piece of our family.”
“My baby didn’t deserve this,” she added. “He had the biggest smile, the biggest eyes. … He changed all of our lives. He touched everybody that he knew.”
The little boy’s grandmother, Gwen Hinnant, described her grandson as “an innocent child taken away for no reason.”
“There’s a lot of leaning on each other right now,” she said. “Obviously, we do have faith, and that is part of what is helpful. We do believe there’s a higher power, and there’s a reason for everything. We just don’t understand what that reason is.”
Please continue to pray for the Hinnant family.