The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

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July 25, 2013

Ex-Pinetops officer found guilty of murder

TARBORO — A former part-time Pinetops police officer was found guilty Tuesday for the 2010 slaying of 23-year old Jonathan Schipper and was sentenced to life in prison.

A Pasquotank County (Elizabeth City) jury deliberated less than three hours Tuesday when they found 26-year old Christopher David Amyx guilty of first-degree murder.

Amyx told investigating officers that Schipper came at him with a knife while he sat at his computer in his dorm room at Mid-Atlantic Christian University.

Amyx had claimed self-defense and testified during the trial that he had received threatening notes in the days leading up to the shooting. He said he felt he was in danger, because he said he was a gay student at a religious school.

Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Pellini said in closing arguments that Amyx had planned to shoot Schipper.

After Amyx was charged, Pinetops Town Administrator Greg Bethea said Amyx had been a reserve police officer with the town since May 1, 2010. After Amyx was charged, he was dismissed in accordance with the standard practice and procedures of the Town of Pinetops Police Department as a result of the first-degree murder charge.

Amyx worked two 12-hour shifts per month on the weekends with the department assisting permanent officers.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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