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Clayton woman gets 10 years in prison for husband's death

A Johnston County woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing her husband four years ago and dumping his body in South Carolina, authorities said.

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Penny Dierickx, convicted of killing husband
SMITHFIELD, N.C. — A Johnston County woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing her husband four years ago and dumping his body in South Carolina, authorities said.

Penny Dierickx, 57, of 104 Heart Wood Court in Clayton, pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the Oct. 6, 2006, death of 63-year-old Larry Dierickx, whose body was found behind a convenience store in Dillon, S.C.

Larry Dierickx's hands were tied and taped, and tape covered his mouth, authorities said. A grocery store discount card found near the body led investigators to his Clayton home.

After speaking with Penny Dierickx, investigators searched the home and seized duct tape, two blankets, maps of South Carolina and floor and trunk mats from a car, among other items. Investigators said cell phone records showed that Penny Dierickx made calls from South Carolina the night before her husband's body was found.

Penny Dierickx's first-degree murder trial was supposed to begin Monday, but she decided to plead guilty when damaging testimony came out in a pre-trial hearing, authorities said.

A minister was prepared to testify that Larry Dierickx implicated his wife in an August 2005 assault. In that case, Penny Dierickx called 911 to report that someone had broken into the couple's home, hit her husband over the head with a hammer while he was sleeping and stolen jewelry and cash.

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Matthew Burns, Web Editor

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