Local News

Man convicted of raping, killing grandmother loses appeal

Posted October 7, 2010 5:05 p.m. EDT

— A Maxton man who raped and killed his 69-year-old grandmother in 2005 has lost an appeal challenging his conviction.

James Junior Blue, 33, was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree rape and armed robbery in the death of Shirley Locklear. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors said that Blue became angry when his grandmother refused to lend him money. He hit Locklear with a piece of wood and a cooking pot, choked her with a cord from a tape recorder and then raped her.

Blue took $200 from underneath her mattress to spend on crack cocaine, prosecutors said.

Locklear's body was found in a ditch near Blue's home Nov. 8, 2005. Two days earlier, other family members reported her missing after she failed to show up to a nephew's birthday party.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Blue received a fair trial.