Girlfriend, children plead guilty in Raleigh man's death
Posted September 2, 2011 10:00 a.m. EDT
Updated September 2, 2011 5:51 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A mother and her two teenage children pleaded guilty Friday in the death of the children's father, who was found decapitated in a freezer in their Raleigh home last year.
Wendy Edmond Green, 42, and the couple's son, David Green III, 15, both pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of David Ruben Green Jr., 52. The couple's daughter, Alexis Green, 17, pleaded guilty to helping hide her father's murder.
David Green III was prosecuted as an adult, even though he was 13 at the time of the murder.
A judge sentenced Wendy Green to 30 to 46 years in prison. The children, who cooperated with prosecutors, got less jail time. David Green III was sentenced to a maximum 26 years, and Alexis Green got six to eight years.
Prosecutors said they sought the plea deals after David Green Jr.'s family told them they didn't want to go through a trial and possible appeals process.
Investigators say the murder happened in January 2009 after David Green Jr. threatened to kill Wendy Green, his longtime girlfriend, during an argument involving Alexis, who was 15 at the time.
"He said, if Alexis was pregnant, he was going to kill her and bury her in the yard," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Jason Waller told the judge, adding that Alexis Green was seven months pregnant at the time.
Wendy Green then convinced her son, David Green III, to kill his father as he slept, Waller said.
The 13-year-old walked into his father's room several times with various weapons but told his mother he couldn't kill him, Waller said. He said Wendy ordered her son to "do it," and the teen hit his father on the head with a hammer twice.
David Green Jr. didn't die immediately.
"He walked around the house, (was) crawling around the house, asking for help," Waller said, noting that Wendy Green refused to help him.
He died several hours later, Waller said. Prosecutors say the family then used a dog leash to drag his body to the basement and put him in a freezer in their house on Ray Road.
David Green III went back to the freezer later, on his own, and used an ax, knife and motorized hedge trimmer to decapitate his father and try, unsuccessfully, to cut off his father's legs, Waller said.
Other family members reported David Green Jr. missing, and an investigator found his body almost two years later, on Oct. 6.
"He was wrapped in a bed sheet, and (the investigator) noticed that the head was missing where it should have been," Waller said.
Wendy Green claims David Green Jr. abused her.
"There was mental, physical and emotional abuse to Wendy and the children over a long period of time," defense attorney Jim Freeman said.
Prosecutors say, even though Wendy Green didn't hit her boyfriend with the hammer, she was the driving force behind his murder.
Ronnie Ansley, a defense attorney for the children said, "The mother was the puppet-master. She was telling them what to do, and they were doing it."
"She used two teenage children to do what she couldn't do," Waller said.