A 26-year-old Lenoir man was convicted Monday of two counts of first degree murder in Caldwell County Criminal Superior Court.
Justin Ray Hester was sentenced to two consecutive life terms without parole in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction in connection with the deaths of Harley Carter and Kevin Shatley in June 2010 in the Dudley Shoals area of Caldwell County.
According to police, the couples bodies were found inside a burned-out Ford Mustang on Duke Power Road, near the Rhodhiss Dam south of Granite Falls.
The killings were the result of a dispute over money.
Lt. Aaron Barlowe and Detective Kenneth Bentley from the Caldwell County Sheriffs Office and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation handled the investigation and Assistant District Attorney Nancy Lee prosecuted the case.
The Honorable Robert C. Ervin presided over the conviction.
I am thankful for the hard work of Sheriff Alan Jones and the Caldwell County Sheriffs Office. The close relationship between the District Attorneys Office and the Sheriffs Office has consistently resulted in strong prosecutions and safer communities in Caldwell County, District Attorney James C. Gaither, Jr., said.