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N.C. man sentenced to 50 years in murder

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A North Carolina man who had pleaded guilty to charges of murder and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana in connection with an incident in Henry County has been sentenced to 600 months (50 years) in federal prison.

Keith Clifton Hairston, 26, of Greensboro, was sentenced Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and in the course of that violation did result in the death of another person in the first degree, the release stated.

Akorean JaJauntex Murphy died of gunshot wounds to his head and chest in the incident, the release added.

Rodney Lamar Hairston, 22; Tremain Alando Thomas, 27; Quentin Dwayne McNebb, 36; and Andrew Albert Christian Edward Armour, 21, each pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy and murder charges as Keith Hairston.

According to a statement of facts entered into the record and agreed to by each defendant, Rodney Hairston, a Henry County marijuana dealer, contacted his cousin, a known gang member, in 2010 to recruit other gang members to help him rob one of his regular drug customers, the release stated.

Keith Hairston, Thomas, Armour and McNebb agreed to commit the robbery, the release added.

While Demarcus Levon Hairston and Akorean JaJauntex Murphy — the customers — were buying marijuana from Rodney Hairston at his mobile home in Henry County, Keith Hairston, Thomas, McNebb and Armour drove down the road about a mile away to set up an ambush, according to the release.

As the two customers left Rodney Hairston’s home, Thomas and Keith Hairston — who both were armed with loaded pistols — left their vehicle, the release stated. McNebb and Armour waited inside the vehicle, it added.

When Demarcus Hairston’s car pulled up to a stop sign, Keith Hairston and Thomas fired shots into the car, hitting both Demarcus Hairston and Murphy, who was in the passenger seat, the release stated. It added that Murphy returned fire.

When the shooting ended, the car Demarcus Hairston was driving rolled through the intersection and into a ditch, where it came to rest.

Demarcus Hairston got out of his vehicle and was picked up by a passing truck and taken to a local hospital, according to the release.

While Murphy laid on the front passenger floorboard severely injured and moaning, Keith Hairston reached into the vehicle and grabbed the bag of marijuana that was under Murphy’s body, the release stated.

Murphy later died, it added.

“Mr. Hairston and his co-conspirators have been justly held accountable for their brazen act of violence,” U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said. “The Department of Justice will continue to devote all possible resources to reduce acts of violent crimes like this senseless murder.”

James Newman, acting special agent in charge, said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF’s) mission “is to remove violent offenders from our streets and put them behind bars where they belong. When individuals brazenly disregard the law with such violence, make no mistake: ATF will take these individuals off our streets.”

The ATF, Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Henry County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office investigated the case.

Assistant U. S. Attorney Donald Wolthuis was the prosecutor.


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