Murder charges dropped against Mooresboro man

In shooting death of Forest City man
Dec. 28, 2012 @ 07:10 AM

MOORESBORO — Murder charges against a man accused of murder, have been dropped by the district attorney's office in Cleveland County.

Matthew Anthony Moore, 26, of Mooresboro, was arrested at his home earlier this month, when Kevin Lee Cole, 21, of Weatherstone Drive in Forest City, was found on Moore's back porch with two gunshot wounds. 

Moore was inside the house when officers arrived.

According to reports, Moore also called the communications center for help after the shooting that occurred on Friday, Dec. 14.

"After meeting with the detectives and reviewing the evidence, I came to the conclusion that the Moore killed the decedent in self defense," District Attorney Rick Shaffer said in an email to The Daily Courier on Thursday. "It is my understanding that the detectives involved in the investigation shared my belief that the evidence as it existed would support a finding that Moore acted in self defense."

Shaffer said Moore indicated that the decedent came to Moore's house and pulled a gun and shot at him. Shaffer said Moore said a struggle ensued over the gun and Moore shot the decedent once.

"Decedent got up and came towards him and Moore shot again. The physical evidence was consistent with Moore's version of facts. There was nothing of substance that contradicted Moore's version of facts," Shaffer continued in the email. "The investigation also established a motive for the decedent to act as reported by Moore. I decline to disclose the information concerning motive at this time; however, it was verified by the investigation."

According to the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department, Cole had been arrested on Nov. 30 on four drug charges and released Dec. 1 on a $60,000 bond.  

A few days after the shooting, Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman said it was possible the incident was over narcotics.

According to reports, neither Moore nor Cole had been in trouble with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Department.