Man Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Man Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter

WILMINGTON -- Stephen Barnett pleaded guilty Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter charges in the death of George Murray.

Murray was fatally shot in the chest on Rankin Street in December 2005. Barnett was sentenced to three to five years in prison. He was released on parole just hours after the sentencing.

Murray's mother says the sentence is not acceptable.

"If I was the judge sitting up there, it would be at least 21 years, because my son was 21 years," said Shervy Murray.

A 2004 fight between the two men led to the shooting and resulting in both men being stabbed, Murray's mother said.

She wanted her son, who she calls "Booby," to tell police what happened, but he chose to go in a different direction.

"He said 'No Mommy, I'm gonna handle it the other way. I'm gonna see if we can handle it out of court,' and by taking that step took his life," she said.

After Barnett pressed charges, Murray's mother says the two ran into each other at a party on Wilmington's East side.

"Booby said, 'Oh, I heard you's gonna still testify against me. He said 'No man, I'm not gonna do that, just meet me on the North side, we'll talk about it.' Booby goes to the North side, next thing I know -- shot him right in the heart," she said.

Murray's mother says the investigation should have probed deeper into the history between her son and Barnett.

Staff Report    


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