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Stroupe murder trial likely not till next year

The murder trial for Phillip Michael Stroupe II, accused of killing Thomas A. “Tommy” Bryson in July 2017, won’t take place until next year, District Attorney Greg Newman said last month.


Keynote speaker at the annual meeting of AgHC in June, Newman told the farm promotion organization that he knew the community was following the case because of the widespread affection for Tommy Bryson and his family. “Many of you knew Mr. Bryson,” he said.
Originally postponed from July 2018 to no sooner than this past January, the trial was delayed until May when defense lawyers said they needed more time to prepare because the state was charging their client with capital murder. Then, this past spring, Superior Court Judge Robert Bell called Newman to tell him, “We’ve had to change one of the defense counselors.” The defense, which had been led by Public Defender Paul Welch, was then assigned to Waynesville attorney Mark Melrose and a co-counsel, Sarah Ziomek of Forest City, who was a part of the original defense team.
“We’re looking at an October hearing and at that time we will probably set a trial date,” Newman said. “We’re looking at tentatively next year, next spring, if things go smoothly. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.”