Antonio Beatty, 21, could face the death penalty for murder, but used his first court appearance as an opportunity to taunt the victim’s family on Sept. 8 (video below).
Beatty, of North Carolina, is accused of shooting and killing 25-year-old Carlton Whitley during an argument between the two in a Wilmington parking lot on July 21. He was arrested on Sept. 5 and faces first-degree murder charges.
Whitley is survived by his fiancee Octavia Bryant and their infant daughter. Beatty is a father of two.
During his court appearance, Beatty turned his attention away from the judge and focused on Bryant, her daughter and Whitley’s sister. Staring at the bereaved trio, Beatty smirked and stuck his tongue out, reports CBS 46.
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Bryant was furious. “He don't care obviously,” she said. “He showed that his self in court that he don't care, that he don't have no remorse for what he did, and he needs to be charged. He needs to go down for this.This is not right. He took my daughter's father from her. She don't deserve that and then you're going to stick your tongue out at a 5-month-old? She is a baby!"
Beatty claims he was taunted first: "I mean I'm upset myself, but they ain't have no right to stick their tongue out at me, they ain't have no right to stick their middle finger up at me.”
Beatty said he thought his behavior was justified, and that Whitley’s family was “lucky I didn’t do more than that.”
Beatty’s family has apologized for his behavior but stands by his pleading not guilty.
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If Beatty is convicted, he could face the death penalty. Whitley’s family has sworn to attend every court appearance and do everything they can to ensure that Beatty faces capital punishment, reports CBS 46.
"He needs to be dead,” said Whitley’s sister, Ebony Silman. “He needs the chair. He don't care, he killed a life and don't care."
“I don’t know Whitley,” Beatty said, reports Daily Mail. “I don’t know him from a can of paint, I don’t know that man.”