Man accused of killing Greensboro girl appears in court

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The man accused of killing and sexually assaulting a 7-year-old Greensboro girl will continue to be held without bond.

Donald Preston Ferguson is charged with first degree murder and first degree sexual offenses against a minor.

Last week, U.S. Marshals arrested Ferguson in South Carolina for the murder of Shalonda Poole 23 years after it happened.

Poole was murdered in July 1990. Greensboro Police detectives say they linked Ferguson to the case with forensic evidence after it was reopened in 2007.

In a Guilford County courtroom Monday, District Court Judge Michelle Fletcher told Ferguson the maximum sentence for his charges is the death penalty.

Ferguson requested a public defender. He sat quietly with his arms crossed throughout his first appearance via video cameras from the jail.

The prosecutor said Ferguson has prior convictions for sex offenses against a 19-year-old and a 10-year-old.

Poole's family sat in on Monday’s first appearance and said they plan to be at all court dates from now on.

“All I just want to know is why? What made you do it? She was only seven,” questioned Janeen Poole, Shalonda's older sister, while talking to reporters after court.

“I was shocked because I knew this man. This man was my brother's friend,” explained Arnisha, the oldest of the Poole sisters.

Judge Fletcher said Ferguson's next court appearance will be for administrative purposes on February 27.

Filed in: News

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