South Carolina suspect in North Carolina girl's death sent for mental evaluation

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GREENSBORO, North Carolina — A South Carolina man accused of killing a North Carolina girl nearly 15 years ago is being sent for a mental evaluation.

The Greensboro News-Record reported ( that 53-year-old Donald Preston Ferguson of Spartanburg, South Carolina, is being sent to Butner for a psychiatric evaluation.

Ferguson is charged with first-degree murder in the killing 7-year-old Shalonda Poole in 1990.

Guilford County Assistant District Attorney Howard Neumann said a judge approved the request from Ferguson's lawyers for the evaluation.

Searchers found Shalonda's body in 1990 behind an elementary school. Police said she had been stabbed, strangled and sexually assaulted.

Family members have said Ferguson played cards at their house a few days before Shalonda was killed. He also helped search for the girl after her parents reported that she was missing.

The city created a park in her memory. Last year, a group that included family members, friends and city council members dedicated a new memorial plaque at the park.

Information from: News & Record,

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