One Pleads Guilty in Lakeview Store Shooting
One of the suspects charged in the murder of a man shot while trying to defend his wife in an attempted robbery at a Lakeview convenience store made a deal with prosecutors in court Wednesday.
Leroy Richard Medley pleaded to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon. But sentencing will be delayed until after he testifies in future trials of other defendants in the case.
“Judgment is continued term to term until the cases against co-defendants are concluded,” Senior Resident Superior Court Judge James M. Webb ordered.
Angus “Gene” Kelly, 78, was shot June 28, 2010, during an exchange of gunfire with the defendants in an attempted armed robbery at the Exxon Short Stop and Food Mart on U.S. 1 near Lakeview. He died from his wounds several days later after a number of operations in an unsuccessful effort to save his live.
Kelly was there to pick up his wife, Grace Kelly, who worked at the store. She was struck in the arm, and one of the suspects was hit in the face. They started shooting back and one shot struck Kelly in his left side, entering under his arm and emerging from his back.
Assistant District Attorney Peter Strickland gave the court a summary of the state’s evidence in the case as a basis for the plea deal.
“Gene Kelly was waiting in his green Jeep Cherokee for his wife Grace to close,” Strickland said. “Three young men with their faces covered entered with handguns. She was in back, and they demanded money from an Hispanic family. When she gave them about $70 from the cash register, they demanded more.”
The rest of the money was in a safe that she could not open. Her husband, seeing what was going on, loaded his shotgun.
“Mr. Kelly fired one shot,” Strickland said. “Some of it barely missed the Hispanic family. Demarcus Dennison fired one shot back and hit Mr. Kelly.”
Randy Joel Williams, 17, of Southern Pines, shouted to Kelly that he was “only 17 years old, and please let them go,” Strickland said. Pellets from Kelly’s shotgun had struck Williams in the face and he lost 90 percent of his vision, according to Strickland.
“A Highway Patrol helicopter used infrared and found him in the woods,” Strickland said. “Paris Mack and this defendant were arrested in Southern Pines.”
Dennison, 18, of Polkton, was also found in the wooded area with Williams. Kelly and Williams were flown to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where doctors removed Kelly’s spleen and made repairs to other organs, the prosecutor said.
“On July 6 he underwent another operation for repairs to his colon,” he said. “On July 9, he passed away from liver and renal failure.”
Medley had given rides to the others, Strickland said.
On Wednesday, Gracie Kelly watched from a rear pew in Superior Court as Webb accepted Medley’s plea.
Contact John Chappell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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