Orange County

Hearing could decide life or death penalty if suspect in Chapel Hill girl’s killing is convicted

A court hearing Friday will determine whether a man charged with the Christmas Day 2015 murder of a little girl could face life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.

Orange County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Nieman said Tuesday he will ask for life in prison if a jury finds Pierre Je Bron Moore, 25, guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 14-month-old Maleah Williams.

He also plans to seek life in prison for Moore’s co-defendant Ramone Jamarr Alston, 23.

Both men also have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury, and attempted murder, court records show.

Moore is being held at Central Prison in Raleigh while serving a four-year sentence for breaking and entering. He is scheduled for release in September.

Alston also is serving time for breaking and entering. He is scheduled for release next year from Bertie Correctional Institution.

Prosecutors dismissed murder and assault with a deadly weapon charges last year against a third man, Shaquille Oneill Davis, of Chapel Hill.

Maleah and her family were visiting friends at the Trinity Court public housing community on Dec. 25, 2015. The adults were watching as the group of children played outside with their new toys. Witnesses reported seeing a car roll through the complex’s parking lot, then turn around and come back. The driver and a passenger got out of the car and began firing at the crowd.

Witnesses told police that the suspects were shooting at another man, who had robbed them a couple of years ago. They instead shot Maleah in the head as she was being held in her mother’s arms. The child died three days later at UNC Hospitals.

Tylena Williams, Maleah’s mother, said at a January 2016 court hearing that she wants to see both men get life in prison.