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Man receives life for the murder of North Carolina policeman

On Tuesday, March 25, a man received a lifetime prison sentence for the murder of a Jonesville, North Carolina, police officer that occurred 17 years ago. According to news reports, the defendant entered an Alford plea for the police officer slaying. This plea is not an admission of guilt but rather an acknowledgment by the defendant that prosecutors possess enough evidence for a conviction.

Police authorities allegedly invested more than 10 years responding to tips connected with the murder, which culminated in the defendant's arrest on Oct. 3, 2012, in Cape Coral, Florida. A joint investigation between the FBI, the SBI, and the Elkin and Jonesville police departments allegedly contributed to the defendant's arrest.

According to police officials, the shooting occurred on Oct. 5, 1996, when the police officer made contact via radio to report that he was stopping a red Dodge Ram truck on I-77. When the police department attempted to contact the officer some minutes later, they received no response. A state trooper discovered the slain police officer lying on the highway's shoulder with multiple gunshots to the head.

Reportedly, the officer ordered the defendant and another man to exit the truck after discovering that neither man possessed identification. The defendant allegedly shot the policeman while he was searching through a duffle bag and looking the other way. Reports claim the duffle bag contained items that were to be used in a robbery.

Regardless of how old a case may be the defendant is still presumed innocent until proven guilty and has the right to receive a fair trial with good counsel from a criminal defense legal team. In most cases, it's best to find representation as soon as possible, but it's still important to have support in the courtroom even after years or decades have passed since the crime.

Source: Officer.com, "Suspect Sentenced in Fatal Shooting of N.C. Officer" No author given, Mar. 25, 2014

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