A Weaverville murder suspect nabbed in McDowell now has a trial date in December for his local charges, according to reports.

Phillip Stroupe II, 39, of King Road in Weaverville, is currently facing one count each in McDowell of felony fleeing to elude arrest, reckless driving to endanger, resisting a public officer, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of methamphetamine and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

According to District Attorney Ted Bell, Stroupe’s trial here has been set for Dec. 4. In Superior Court during his second appearance on Monday morning, Stroupe waived having to appear in person and was represented by defense attorney Sarah Ziomek.

In late July, Stroupe was the subject of a lengthy manhunt in numerous counties in western N.C. in connection with a missing Henderson County man. McDowell deputies were notified of a possible sighting of Stroupe driving a silver Honda Ridgeline pickup truck, owned by then-missing Thomas Bryson, who was later found dead near Arden.

Local and state authorities intercepted the vehicle on U.S. 70 West and eventually apprehended Stroupe at Riverside Market. A subsequent search turned up a handgun and a small amount of methamphetamine, according to the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office.

Stroupe was indicted on these charges in August.

During Stroupe’s second appearance, Ziomek argued for a longer trial date given that Stroupe’s charges are among a “series of alleged events” that occurred in other counties before he was apprehended in McDowell. The date was nonetheless set for Dec. 4.

Stroupe was subsequently charged and indicted in Henderson County with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

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