After almost five hours of deliberation, the jury in the Wake County trial came in with a guilty verdict for the teen charged with masterminding a plot to murder a high school acquaintance. We discussed the details of the crime in our September 17 post.
The defendant was charged with four crimes: first-degree murder; conspiracy to commit murder and attempted first-degree murder in connection with events that occurred on November 25, 2008; and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the events that led to the victim’s death on November 30, 2008. For the murder conviction, the judge sentenced the defendant to life in prison without possibility of parole. For the attempted murder charge and each conspiracy charge, the defendant will serve 12 to 15 years. The 19 year old is going to prison for the rest of his life.
The defendant apologized to the victim’s family for his part in the boy’s death. He added that he didn’t believe that all of the truth was known. He had maintained throughout the trial that he had helped the victim commit suicide. The autopsy revealed high levels of pain medication, alcohol and anti-depressants in the victim’s body.
The conspiracy charges came after three other teens told the police that they had been involved. (Conspiracy is defined as two or more people engaged in criminal activity.) Based on their testimony, the prosecution claimed that the defendant was the mastermind of a plot to kill the victim and that he manipulated the others into helping him. The scheme, they said, included an elaborate hoax involving a fictional hit man.
Of the co-conspirators, only one has pleaded guilty. The defendant’s girlfriend at the time of the victim’s death pleaded guilty to attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and second-degree murder in exchange for her testimony. She is 19.
Of the other two young men involved, one (aged 19) had agreed to a plea bargain, but the offer was withdrawn last week, with prosecution saying the teen had been uncooperative. The other, aged 18, is in jail awaiting trial.
The defendant was the only member of the “scheme” not to go to the police and confess.
Resource: WRAL “Apex Man Found Guilty in Teen’s 2008 Slaying” 9/24/10