Robert Sharpe will at least be familiar with the people prosecuting him in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Sharpe was a volunteer intern with the Onslow County District Attorney’s Office after he tried to sell an undercover agent copies from the Cesar Laurean case. He is facing felony embezzlement and misdemeanor larceny charges.
Laurean, a Marine, is accused of killing Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach and burying her body in the back yard of his Jacksonville house.
Sharpe was a volunteer who appears to be going to UNC-Wilmington. Only two copies were to be made in the case of critical documents for the prosecutors and the defense counsel. Prosecutors became suspicious when documents began to appear on a newspaper blog. It would be unethical for a journalist to pay for documents, though he may have turned over the documents without payment under a confidentiality agreement.
Sharpe has reportedly attacked the Jacksonville Daily News, which he allegedly gave him confidentiality protection and betrayed him: “I am very disappointed with the Daily News. I was supposed to be a confidential source, they screwed me over and offered no help or assistance afterward. I put my trust in the organization.” This is not exactly the type of thing that a criminal defense should be discussing before a trial. He may indeed have a legitimate gripe with the newspaper, but this statement would be admissible in the trial. A plea seem likely, though a deal with the very prosecutors who you betrayed would be hard to come by.
As for the Daily News, more information would be useful on their role in this matter.
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