Local News

Man pleads guilty in 2005 stabbing death

Posted September 5, 2008

— A man charged in the 2005 stabbing death of a Raleigh woman pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree murder in exchange for a life sentence in prison rather than the death penalty.

Joseph Sanderlin, 26, was facing a possible death sentence for the Nov. 8, 2005, slaying of Lauren Michele Redman, who was stabbed and cut dozens of times inside her Raleigh apartment.

Sanderlin's case was supposed to go to trial in April but was delayed because his defense attorneys filed a motion for a pre-trial hearing to determine whether he was mentally retarded and therefore, ineligible for the death penalty.

State law prohibits mentally retarded people from being put to death. To be mentally retarded, a person has to have an IQ below 70 and have issues with adaptive functioning.

The plea agreement was accepted by Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, who recently received information from Sanderlin's attorneys indicating their client was mentally disabled.

Sanderlin and two other men were charged in connection with Redman's death – Byron Waring with first-degree murder and George Sasser with being an accessory to murder after the fact.

Waring was convicted in July 2007 and sentenced to death. Sasser is awaiting trial.

Redman, who had been a student at North Carolina State University and was a graduate of East Wake High School, had been raped and had been stabbed more than 20 times.

During Waring's trial, prosecutors said Sanderlin went to Redman's apartment to collect an outstanding debt she owed to Sasser, her former roommate whom witnesses said she kicked out of their apartment.

In a taped confession to police, Waring said Sanderlin raped Redman and that they both stabbed her.

Redman managed to crawl outside her apartment near N.C. State and ask a neighbor for help before she died.

There has only been one other case in Wake County in which mental retardation has been an in issue in a death penalty case – that of Antonio Davon Chance.

Chance, 31, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder in the death of Progress Energy employee Cynthia Moreland. Prosecutors say he abducted her from a downtown parking garage early on August 2006 and kidnapped, raped and murdered her.

Psychologists for both and both the state and defense ultimately found he met the state's criteria for mental retardation. He was sentenced to life in prison.


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  • bomanicous Sep 5, 2008

    This stinks!!! This was an extremely brutal and heinous murder. This scumbag will go on living life in a prison playing with all of his boyfriends and having good days and other days that aren't as good. The third party should also be charged with first degree murder as well because he put them up to it...All three should be destroyed!!!

  • tryton77 Sep 5, 2008

    Just another black on white hate crime... no biggie!

  • tiblet Sep 5, 2008

    is giving someone life in prison to save the taxpayer's the cost of a trial really a "good deal". How much is it going to cost us to take care of even his most minimal/basic needs for the rest of his life?

  • Tracey1229 Sep 5, 2008

    Danimal I thought it was over cocaine?

    Cocaine makes people do crazy things.

    but since it was drug-related, I don't think it could be considered a hate crime anyway. Sasser sicked those two people on her, allegedly. I guess though... when is killing someone not an act of hate?

  • lilbit278 Sep 5, 2008

    All 3 should get death. Their victims didn't get the chance to make a plea deal why should they?

  • happy Sep 5, 2008

    My niece lived in the apt above this girl. She went to bed and didn't hear another thing till the police knocked on her door the next a.m. This really freaked her out when it happened. I'm glad the guy plead guilty.

  • Conservative Sep 5, 2008

    I think they'd better start keeping track of all adults with an IQ below 70.

    And make sure they also don't get to vote!

  • ctechic2004 Sep 5, 2008

    Why isn't this a hate crime? If the victim were black and the murderer white, you can bet it would be a hate crime. When are people gonna learn...same thing just happened down in Wilmington...guy got out of prison and within a month he killed a white female. Seems to be a lot of this going around.

    This is not a hate crime because she wasn't killed because of her race, but she owed someone a few dollars. Regardless what she owed or did not owe her life should not have been taken. Blacks are killed by whites everyday just as well as whites being killed by blacks, they all aren't hate crimes. If everytime someone does something against another of a different ethnic background is labeled a "hate crime" the prisons would be overrunned.

  • rcrdngcountry Sep 5, 2008

    forever making deals.of course they are gonna say they rather
    live, than to be put to death. i think they should ask the one they
    munder, this same question. HAD YOU RATHER LIVE, OR FOR ME TO

  • Coach K is GREAT Sep 5, 2008

    oops, to receive a slap on the wrist...