Monday, July 11, 2011

Trial Set For Fatal Stabbing Of Sharone White Bailey

EASTVILLE -- The murder trial of an Exmore man charged with the fatal stabbing of the 2010 Eastern Shore Citizen of the Year Sharone White Bailey will begin with jury selection Tuesday.

Derrick Demond Epps, 36, is charged with first-degree murder.

Epps allegedly saw Bailey, his neighbor, return home from work at lunchtime on July 9, 2010. He then allegedly went to his kitchen to retrieve a knife and repeatedly stabbed her, according to testimony at a September hearing.

After Bailey ran to a neighbor's house for help, Epps allegedly broke through the door and continued stabbing her while the neighbor called 911. Epps allegedly said he broke into the house because "a voice told him she was not dead," according to Northampton County Sheriff's Office Investigator Terry Thomas.

Bailey was found fatally wounded by police responding to the call. Epps was apprehended shortly after officers arrived at the scene.

While in custody, Epps attempted to escape while using the restroom -- allegedly shoving Northampton Sheriff's Office Deputy William Smith into a wall and running out the door before he was shot with a Taser and taken back into custody.

In addition to facing a first-degree murder charge, Epps is charged with entering a dwelling with a deadly weapon with the intent to commit murder and assault and battery of a police officer. He is being held at the Eastern Shore Regional Jail until the trial.

General District Court Judge Gordon Vincent certified the murder charge against Epps to a grand jury during a September hearing.

Epps "made no bones about what he did," Thomas said. "He said it was not a robbery, that her people owed his people."

The slaying of Bailey, 57, who had been named the 2010 Eastern Shore Citizen of the Year at a gala event just before her death, shocked the community.

Bailey was co-owner and clinical director of Therapeutic Interventions, a Belle Haven-based community mental health provider. She was also secretary of the Eastern Shore Rural Health Board of Directors, helping to spearhead efforts to raise funds for the new Onley Community Health Center and served on the Northampton Joint Industrial Development Authority, as president of Habitat for Humanity and as a board member of the Eastern Shore Coalition against Domestic Violence.

Bailey was a U.S. Army veteran, a choir member and secretary of the Trustee Board at the Macedonia AME Church in Accomac and had worked for Accomack County Social Services and the Eastern Shore Community Services Board.

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