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Man sentenced in deaths of Caldwell man, woman

LENOIR -- The second of three men charged in connection with the murders of a young man and his girlfriend in a dispute over money was sentenced to prison Monday in Caldwell County.

Matthew Bradley Powell, 24, of Granite Falls, was sentenced by Judge Robert Ervin to between 11 years 2 months and 15 years in prison. He was convicted earlier to two counts of accessory after the fact to murder.

The man accused of murder, Justin Ray Hester, 26, of Lenoir, entered a guilty plea in February and was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without parole.

Still awaiting trial is 22-year-old Dylan Shane Teeters of Lenoir. He also was charged with two counts of accessory after the fact to murder.

The cases stem from the deaths in June 2010 of Kevin Lee Shatley and Harlie Brooke Carter. Prosecutors say Hester shot the couple in the dispute over money.

Prosecutors say Hester then got the help of Powell and Teeters to put the victims in a car and drag the vehicle into Lake Rhodhiss. The plan failed, according to prosecutors, when the car got stuck in mud. The suspects then burned the car, according to prosecutors.

People on their way to swim at the lake found the car and the remains of the victims. The district attorney’s office says DNA analysis from Marshall University’s Forensic Science Center helped them make arrests in the case.

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