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Testimony continues in Chapel Hill man's murder trial

Testimony continued Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of a Chapel Hill man accused of ordering the death of another man nearly four years ago.

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HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — Testimony continued Wednesday in the murder trial of a Chapel Hill man accused of ordering the death of another man nearly four years ago.
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Brian Gregory Minton, 22, was one of six men charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in the death of 20-year-old Joshua McCabe Bailey in the summer of 2008.

Prosecutors say that Minton was the ringleader of the group of friends and ordered another man to kill Bailey because he was suspicious that Bailey was assisting police in a criminal investigation involving the group.

The plan also involved a cover-up that included dumping Bailey's body in Orange County and later digging it up and burying it in Chatham County.

Authorities found Bailey on Sept. 12, 2008, near Jordan Lake, three weeks after his family reported him missing. Investigators have said they believe he was killed more than six weeks earlier in Orange County.

Orange County investigator Tim Horne testified for most of Wednesday about his involvement in the case and how he connected Minton to the crime.

Horne had been investigating Bailey's disappearance when he ran his name through a law enforcement database and found a police report also mentioning Minton's name as well as others charged in the case.

He began trying to reach members of the group and discovered later in the investigation that Bailey had been murdered.

Minton's defense attorney told jurors in opening statements earlier this month that Minton was merely part of a group and never the ringleader.

In addition to Minton, Matt Johnson, Brandon Hamilton Greene and Jacob Alexander Maxwell face murder and kidnapping charges in the case.

Jack Johnson is awaiting sentencing on charges of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Ryan Ladar Davis Lee has pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of first-degree murder and accessory after the fact of second-degree kidnapping in the case.

Three other people – Minton's parents, Gregory Lee Minton and Mishele Slade Minton, and Chris Manley – each face a charge of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder in the case.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Minton faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.