Local News

Man gets life sentence for beating Smithfield widow

Posted November 3, 2012 11:49 a.m. EDT

— A Johnston County jury decided against the death penalty for a man found guilty last month of beating a neighbor to death.

Matthew Hagert Salentine,  of 212-B N. Third St. in Smithfield, was convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery for an attack on 74-year-old Patricia Warren Stevens in 2010. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Stevens' son found her, wrapped in a rug, at her home, 309 N. Third St. Another neighbor told WRAL News his home was broken into around the same time. 

Salentine's attorney said his client is bi-polar and was a crack-cocaine addict at the time of the crime.