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Jury Finds Moore County Man Guilty in Slaying Trial

Posted October 10, 2007
Updated October 11, 2007

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— A Moore County man charged with killing four people in a December 2003 robbery was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder Wednesday by a jury.

Mario Lynn Phillips, 35, was the first of three people charged with murder and robbery in the quadruple homicide case to go to trial. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him.

Eddie Ryals, 21, Carl Garrison Justice, 18, and Harvey Darrell Hobson, 20, all of Carthage, and Joseph Allen Harden, 19, of Vass, were killed on Dec. 19, 2003, in a mobile home on Heron Road east of Carthage. All four had been shot and stabbed in what authorities said was a robbery – the three suspects made off with $170.

Amanda Cook Varner, who survived being shot twice and stabbed 22 times in the incident, identified Phillips as the gunman and said Renee Yvette McLaughlin and Sean Maurice Ray assisted him in the crime.

Defense attorneys tried to convince jurors that Phillips shouldn't be convicted of first-degree murder in the case because he is mentally ill, was addicted to drugs at the time and somehow thought his friends were responsible for shooting his brother in Fayetteville earlier that same day.

4 Comments

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  • PAPA O2 Oct 12, 2007

    Poor Young Man? He should never see freedom again....hang him!!

  • todd669 Oct 11, 2007

    Goodness gracious! I'm not sure I understand! Why isn't the NAACP coming to this poor young man's rescue like they did for the gentleman in Wilson? What a shame... I find it rather interesting which murderers they take up for and which they don't.

  • Bradley07 Oct 11, 2007

    Well said Humble!

  • humbleblaklady Oct 11, 2007

    Hold your head up! You didn't look down while you were killing those people. Take it like a man-----all the way to the gurney! If the jury has ANY sense you will be saying bye-bye soon (but not soon enough).