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Sampson Co. man sentenced to 18 years in prison for 7-year-old's hit-and-run death

Posted July 3, 2014

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— A Roseboro man charged in a fatal hit-and-run involving a 7-year-old girl in Sampson County was sentenced Wednesday to 18 years in prison.

Johnny Allen Spell, 39, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and several other charges in the April 23, 2013, death of Alyiah McKenzie Morgan, who was getting off a school bus at her home on U.S. Highway 421 in Harrells.

Authorities say Spell, who was driving a logging truck, passed the stopped bus, hit Morgan and kept driving.

He later called his boss and said he went into the other lane to keep from hitting the bus. He said he thought he hit someone but was scared and kept driving.

Spell also pleaded guilty to passing a stopped school bus, felony hit-and-run and driving while impaired while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Morgan was a first-grader at Union Elementary School.


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  • jackd418 Jul 3, 2014

    So sad.A prayer for all.

  • Bob Smith Jul 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Thank you for the follow-up reporting WRAL - you need to do more of this. I am glad to see this truck driver getting what could be considered serious punishment - glad he did not just get his hands slapped...

  • Cheree Teasley Jul 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Terrible. Just terrible.