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Man convicted in slaying of Fayetteville student

Posted December 18, 2009

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— A Raeford man was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for the shooting death of a Douglas Byrd High School senior more than two years ago, authorities said.

Keonte Devon Purcell, 20, was found guilty of first-degree murder, discharging a weapon into occupied property, attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy in the May 6, 2007, shooting death of 18-year-old Jourdhan Phillips.

Phillips was shot when a vehicle pulled alongside the car in which he was riding and opened fire near the intersection of Morganton Road and Hearthstone Drive, police said. He was on his way home from a post-prom party at the time, police said.

Investigators said someone else in the car was the target of the shooting.

Two other men have been charged in the case and are awaiting trial. Akeem Braithwaite is charged with murder, and Terrance McLaughlin is charged as an accessory.

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