Local News

Man convicted of kidnapping, killing Goldsboro teen

Posted April 1, 2014

Leonard Eugene Joyner

— A Goldsboro man was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole in the 2012 murder of a 16-year-old.

The body of Kennedy Fitzgerald McLaurin Jr., 16, of Goldsboro, was found Sept. 22, 2012, on a farm about 30 minutes east of Goldsboro, less than two weeks after the teen was kidnapped near his home in the Woodcrest Housing Community.

According to an autopsy report, McLaurin was shot twice in the chest, beaten on the head with a shovel, burned, buried and then dug up a day later and re-buried.

A jury convicted Leonard Eugene Joyner, 23, of first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in the case.

Three others charged in the case – Jerome Jilah Butts, 21, Kevin Edward Smith, 20, and Curtis Etheridge, 19, all of Goldsboro – each pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. They are awaiting sentencing.


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  • dontstopnow Apr 1, 2014

    One dead and 4 heading to prison. What was gained by this senseless crime? I will never understand why these young people can kill others and have no remorse.

  • Chase Truman Apr 1, 2014
    user avatar

    What was the motive for this horrible crime???? Obviously nothing is an excuse for any of these crimes, but I'm just curious what fueled these monstrous acts.

  • stymieindurham Apr 1, 2014

    Yeb, America has thrown away it's moral compass.

  • Obamacare returns again Apr 1, 2014

    Good God......