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Trio sentenced in Goldsboro teen's murder

Posted April 2, 2014

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— Three Goldsboro men have been sentenced to prison for their roles 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.

Jerome Jilah Butts, 21, Kevin Edward Smith, 20, and Curtis Etheridge, 19, all of Goldsboro pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in the case. Butts and Etheridge were each sentenced to 15¼ to 20 years in prison, while Smith received an 18- to 23½-year sentence.

A jury on Monday convicted Leonard Eugene Joyner, 23, of first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in the case. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.


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