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Murder defendant makes first court appearance

His voice barely audible, William Curtis Futrell acknowledged his choice of a court appointed attorney as the accused murderer made his first court appearance here Friday morning.

Standing in an orange prison jumpsuit and shacked in ankle irons, Futrell was asked by District 6B Court Judge Thomas Newbern if he wanted a court-appointed attorney, to which the double-murder defendant nodded in the affirmative.

“Mr. Futrell you are charged with two counts of murder in the first degree for which you could face the death penalty if convicted,” Judge Newbern said.

Saying that he had his affidavit in hand, the Judge declared Futrell as “indigent” and thus ordered that an attorney be appointed by the Office of the Capital Defender in Raleigh. According to North Carolina law, the state is responsible for appointing attorneys to represent defendants in first degree murder cases if those defendants cannot afford legal representation.

Judge Newbern also ordered a probable cause hearing in the case to be held on Dec. 2 in Hertford County District Court. Additionally, the Judge ordered Futrell to be held without bond.

Futrell, arrested Thursday morning in Franklin, Va., stands charged of murdering Dorothy Hobbs, 74, and her 71-year-old sister Nellie Bradley on Aug. 4, 2006. Their bodies were found in a wooded area off a farm path north of Murfreesboro.