No change of venue for fugitive and murder suspect Stroupe II

HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C.  — A judge on Tuesday denied a motion for a change of venue of the murder trial of Phillip Stroupe II from Henderson County. Stroupe is charged with the shooting death of Thomas Bryson, of Mills River, last July.

Phillip Stroupe II is believed to have kidnapped and killed Bryson. Stroupe’s father was charged with aiding and abetting of a fugitive as a multi-day manhunt beginning in Pisgah Forest was on.

McDonald said he believes Stroupe II acted alone, and that he killed Bryson within about a half hour of encountering him because he wanted Bryson’s truck.

Henderson County District Attorney Greg Newman said he will seek the death penalty in the case.

Superior Court Judge Gregory Horne, of Watauga County, will preside over the trial that will now begin no sooner than Jan. 28, 2019. Pretrial motions, including the change of venue request and a motion to delay the trial were heard by Horne on Tuesday.