Lenoir Man Convicted in June 2010 Double Homicide 2/11/2013 5:34:23 PM
26-year-old Justin Ray Hester of Lenoir was convicted on two counts of felony first-degree murder today (February 11) in Caldwell Co. Criminal Superior Court. Hester was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without parole in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.
The murders occurred in June of 2010 in the Dudley Shoals area of Caldwell County. The victims were a 26-year-old man and his 18-year-old girlfriend. They were killed in a dispute over money.
After the murders, Hester placed the victims’ bodies in a car and attempted to conceal the crime by setting the car on fire. The vehicle was discovered not far from Rhodhiss Dam. The victims were later identified by DNA analysis completed by the Marshall University Forensic Science Center in Huntington, West Virginia.
21-year-old Matthew Bradley Powell of Granite Falls and 19-year-old Dylan Shane Teeters of Lenoir were charged with two counts each of accessory to murder after the fact.
Lt. Aaron Barlowe and Detective Kenneth Bentley from the Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation, along with Agents from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant District Attorneys Nancy Lee and Eric Bellas prosecuted the case with the Honorable Robert C. Ervin presiding over the conviction.
Hester will be transported to Central Prison in Raleigh for processing.
(Pictured: Justin Ray Hester, courtesy of Caldwell Co. Sheriff's Office.)
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