Earl Kimrey pleads not guilty to charges in Mariah Woods case


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The man charged with the murder of 3-year-old Mariah Woods pleaded not guilty to all charges in court Monday.

The charges filed against him include first-degree murder and felonious child abuse.

Kimrey, the boyfriend of Mariah Woods’ mother, is facing charges of first-degree murder, felonious child abuse and the concealment of Mariah Woods’ death.

District Attorney Ernie Lee said the state will seek the death penalty if Kimrey in convicted.

Onslow County resident Pam Smith said she wants “justice for what was done to (Mariah).  That’s what the main thing is because she couldn’t protect herself. It’s our job as adults to take care of these children.”

Few capital cases have been tried in Onslow County.

The last occurred more than a decade ago in 2001.

Sheriff Hans Miller said while he isn’t the judge, his office is on board with the death penalty.

“My preference is: ‘Yes,'” said Miler. “It is a capital case. There are aggravating circumstances, and I think it would be totally proper to have the death penalty.”

Kimrey looked somber in the court room, speaking only to his attorney, Walter Paramore.

The hearing took about 20 minutes.


Search warrants in the Mariah Woods case were released Friday afternoon, along with 911 call Earl Kimrey made to report Mariah was missing.

Kimrey, the boyfriend of Mariah Woods’ mother, is facing a first-degree murder charge, and District Attorney Ernie Lee said the state will seek the death penalty if Kimrey in convicted.

The warrants shed new light on the investigation.

Witnesses told investigators they saw Kimrey place an object “bigger than a book bag” into a 1996 Blue Plymouth van and leave the residence on Dawson Cabin Road around 11:30 p.m. November 26.

Earl Kimrey called 911 just after 6 a.m. November 27, saying Mariah Woods was last seen between 8 and 8:30 p.m. November 26 in her bed.

You can listen to the 911 call below.

(Issues playing the file? Click here)

That day, November 27, investigators searched the home on Dawson Cabin Road.

A number of items were seized from the home during the search including: a child’s doll, pink children’s pajamas, a pink blanket, a syringe, four bottles of bleach, a black bag with duct tape and a section of wall from a bedroom.

Then, on November 28, they searched the van, which is registered to Kirsty Woods, Mariah Woods’ mother.

In the van investigators found a pink jacket, a medical child’s boot and a number of other items.

Below is a full list of items taken from the van:

The warrants also shed light on why information slow to come out involving the case after the discovery of Woods’ body.

The lead investigator submitted an affidavit saying the full release of the autopsy results too soon could “severely damage my ability to conduct further interviews, and/or collect additional evidence in this case.”

Kimrey, whose full name is Adolphus Earl Kimrey II, also faces charges of felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury, felony common law obstruction of justice, felony concealment of death, second degree burglary, felony larceny, and felony possession of stolen property.

Kimrey,  was initially charged on December 2 with obstruction of justice, concealing an unattended death, possession of stolen goods, second-degree burglary and larceny after breaking and entering.

Kimrey has been in custody in the Onslow County Detention Center with no bond.

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