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Woman Gets Plea Deal in Quadruple Murder

Posted January 24, 2008

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— A Moore County woman accused of taking part in the slayings of four men in 2003 accepted a plea deal Wednesday to spare her life.

Renee Yvette McLaughlin pleaded guilty to first-degree kidnapping and being an accessory to first-degree murder. She was sentenced to 12 to 16 years in prison on the charges and was given credit for the four years she has already served awaiting trial.

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. They said the three suspects made off with $170.

Amanda Cook Varner survived being shot twice and stabbed 22 times that day.

McLaughlin was one of three people charged in the case.

In October, a jury sentenced Mario Lynn Phillips, 35, to death in the case. Varner identified Phillips as the gunman and said McLaughlin and Sean Maurice Ray assisted him in the crime.

No trial date has been set for Ray.


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  • parr4246 Jan 24, 2008

    I don't think she should have been given a plea deal....... she should have gotten the death penalty..........!!!

  • Adelinthe Jan 24, 2008

    "She was sentenced to 12 to 16 years in prison on the charges and was given credit for the four years she has already served awaiting trial."

    SHAMEFUL!!! So we should have to worry about this murderer again in 12-16 years? UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    Praying for the families of their victims.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • faithwalker48 Jan 24, 2008

    I have reached the conclusion that there is NO justice in the North Carolina court system...it's all a matter of who you know and MAYBE...just MAYBE, who's pockets you can line.

    Anyone out there remember Sophia Whitley from a few years back? She killed her newborn son and put him in garbage bags in the trunk of her car. The coroner testified that the baby was full term and born alive. She was found guilty of MISDEMEANOR child abuse was placed on probation. Life has no value any longer. It's really quite sad......................

  • Meandmytwo Jan 24, 2008

    The state needs to stop these sick plea deals and sentence these criminals to the fullest. Throw the book at them and be done with it. Shame on the state.

  • brassy Jan 24, 2008

    I'm appalled. They killed four people for $170?

  • f6rider Jan 24, 2008

    SICK, SICK I say! Where are we getting the prosecutors and judges from who are sitting in these positions making these types of decisions! Shame shame shame, no justice.

  • Redneck_Bob Jan 24, 2008

    The only plea deal should have been for how many times she was executed. I think once for each person she was involved in killing would work.

  • nghtstarz2 Jan 24, 2008

    This is wrong! This sentence is a mockery of justice!

  • mrr03 Jan 24, 2008

    Listen up..we allknow why she got a light sentence and the plea deal had little to do with it..wonder what else it could be?

  • tarheelalum Jan 24, 2008

    How many women have you ever heard about getting the death penalty? They are all too often portrayed in the stereotypical, passive "the man made me do it and little ol me just couldn't say no" way. Disgusting.