Teen charged in Wal-Mart crash appears in court

Dillon Tart

July 19, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
The Harnett County teenager charged with killing his girlfriend in a Wal-Mart parking lot accident appeared in court for the first time Tuesday. Dillon Tart is facing second-degree murder charges in the death of his 16-year-old girlfriend Ashley Moore.

Tart showed little emotion as he entered the courtroom for his bond hearing. He spent the night in the Harnett County jail Monday night after being indicted.

During the hearing, Tart's attorney fought hard to get his client out of jail.

"He's traumatized," said Jesse Jones, Tart's defense attorney. "He's very upset. He's never been in trouble before."

The district attorney's office wants to keep Tart behind bars and asked the judge to set a $250,000 bond.

The prosecution said Tart was speeding between 52 and 56 miles per hour in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Dunn with his girlfriend in the car.

Security video shows the SUV speeding off from a nearby gas station. Investigators say the vehicle struck two cars, hit a curb and flipped into the front of the store.

Jones says his client has a history of seizures and that's what caused Tart to push down on the gas pedal and not let up. He says the case should have never gone to the grand jury.

"And you know why, because think about how they do the grand jury here, it's all done in secrecy," Jones said. "I can't find out what the officers said. I can't take my client in there to say 'hey, this is what happened.' I can't do anything."

Jones was able to get the bond reduced, but it may be a couple of days before the family can come up with the $50,000 secured bond. In the meantime, Tart remains behind bars.

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