Local News

Donovan Richardson sentenced to life in prison for 2014 double murder

Posted January 24, 2018 8:32 a.m. EST
Updated January 24, 2018 6:51 p.m. EST

— A Wake County jury on Wednesday sentenced Donovan Richardson to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of two elderly men nearly four years ago in Fuquay-Varina.

The verdict capped several hours of deliberations in which the jury could have sentenced him to death penalty. Jurors found him guilty of the murders of two senior citizens—Arthur Lee Brown, 78, and David Eugene McKoy, 66—on July 19, 2014 at their Howard Road home.

Richardson was one of three men accused in the crime:

  • Gregory Crawford pleaded guilty in May 2016 to charges of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and burglary in connection with the slayings. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
  • Kevin Britt was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and burglary. He has not been sentenced yet, but he did plead guilty to being an accessory to murder. He also testified against Richardson during his trial.

The jury began deliberations on Tuesday after attorneys finished their closing arguments. While formally sentencing Richardson, Judge Graham Shirley pointed out in no uncertain terms that Richardson will never taste freedom again in his life.

"You have a life expectancy of 52.35 years, so I want you to know for the next 27.5 million minutes of your life that (prison) is where you are going to remain," Shirley said. "Never to be a free man again."

Wednesday's decision was the ninth time Wake County prosecutors have sought the death penalty in the last decade in a case, but was rebuffed when the jury handed down a life sentence.

"This was a case that we felt strongly (that) under the law (and) under the facts of the case, it was appropriate to go to a jury on that issue," said Lorrin Freeman, the Wake County district attorney. "And we respect the jury's decision."

Prosecutors said the two men did not deserve to die in their own home.

"This is everybody's worst nightmare of two men who worked hard (and) loved their families (but) were murdered in the sanctity of their home at night," Freeman said.

Rick Gammon, the defense attorney, said he and his client, respected the jury's decision.

"He's not good, but he's not as bad as he could be quite frankly," he said. "He's very appreciative of the jury's consideration."