Antoine Dion Young was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole for the 2011 killing of a former Creative Loafing newspaper photographer.
Young, 31, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, avoiding a death penalty trial for the killing of 55-year-old Chris Radok.
Young also pleaded guilty Thursday to robbery with a dangerous weapon and larceny of a motor vehicle.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police found Radok dead in his home on Purser Drive in January 2011. Police believe Young broke into Radoks home and attacked him when the photographer returned from work.
Mecklenburg Assistant District Attorney Gabrielle Macon told the judge during Thursdays hearing that Radok was beaten to death with a baseball bat and had multiple cuts, including to the neck, face and hands.
The prosecutor said police had received a 911 call from a woman who said a man she knew had come to her home wearing bloody clothes and holding a bloody baseball bat. She said the man told her he had slit a guys throat and had hit him with a bat. Macon said the woman identified Young as the man with the bloody clothes and baseball bat.
When Macon announced in 2011 that prosecutors would seek the death penalty against Young, she called Radoks killing heinous, atrocious and cruel.
With agreement from the victims family, we made the decision to take the defendants offer to plead guilty as charged for a life sentence, the prosecutor told the Observer following Thursdays sentencing.
Young is a convicted felon with convictions mostly for nonviolent crimes, including drug possession, misdemeanor breaking and entering, and resisting an officer. He spent several months in prison for drug and stolen goods convictions between 2003 and 2008.
Radok worked for the Charlotte newspaper Creative Loafing as a photographer and photo editor from 1994 to 2006, according to a blog post by Creative Loafing writer John Grooms. Grooms described Radok as an all-around unusual guy with a sharp tongue and eclectic taste.