WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A man was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday morning to a fatal shooting in 2017.
Freddie William Fralin III entered guilty pleas to second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon in the death of Montez Greene.
He was sentenced to between 25 and 31 years in prison.
In July 2017, Greene was shot at the intersection of Sixth and Nixon streets and later died. Prosecutors said that Greene was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
According to prosecutor Brad Matthews, a feud between Greene’s family and Fralin’s gang was taking place throughout the day on July 28. Fralin was a member of the Nine Trey Gang. The reasoning behind the feud is still unknown.
Around 5:20 p.m., the family members and gang members were fighting by the New York Mini Mart at Sixth and Nixon streets.
At that point, Greene and Fralin exchanged words and Fralin brought out handgun and began chasing Greene down the street. This was captured on surveillance video. Fralin then fired two shots at Greene, killing him.
This case was set to go to trial until Judge Phyllis Gorham, in a pre-trial hearing, ruled to allow Fralin’s gang affiliation to be brought into evidence. Shortly after, Fralin reconsidered and accepted the plea offer.
“There was evidence that a leader of that gang yelled to Freddie to just go ahead and shoot Montez and then he did, and Montez ended up dying,” said prosecutor Alexandria Palombo. “So it was very much related to the inner workings of that gang and who was a member of that gang and several of them being there that day including the leader of that gang.”
The courtroom was packed with both Greene and Fralin’s family members.
“Many of those family members were present when the shooting happened.. And so to watch your favorite cousin, to watch your husband die in that was is tough to take. Many of them have had anxiety and a lot of difficulty moving forward with that so for them I would imagine no family member is going bring their family member back,” said Palombo.
Greene’s mother, Deborah Greene Miller, and uncle, Anthony Smith, both spoke in court Wednesday.
“My son can’t walk the streets anymore,” Miller said. “I don’t want the man who murdered him to walk the streets.”
“He did not deserve to die, shot like a dog on the street," said Smith. "His hands were empty.”
After the victim impact statements, Judge Gorham thanked the Greene’s family.
“Those are words this community needs to hear,” she said.
“I think it’s important exactly what Judge Gorham indicated in her sentence. ‘We hear you, and the community needed to hear what you hear what you had to say.’ They needed to hear what Montez’s mom and uncle had to say, that this kind of violence just has to stop. That it won’t be tolerated by the community, it won’t be tolerated by the court system and if you’re committing those kinds of crime and you’re doing them in furtherance of your gang we see you, and we take it seriously,” Palombo said.
Fralin originally was charged with first-degree murder, discharging a firearm in a reckless manner and possession of a firearm by a felon.
According to the Department of Public Safety website, Fralin has prior drug-related convictions in New Hanover County from 2010, 2011, and 2016.