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Gettys sentenced to at least 28 years for murder

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

Ralph Lewis Gettys was sentenced on Thursday to at least 28 years in prison for the Dec. 2012 killing of Raymona Abraham.

A jury found Gettys, 34, guilty of second-degree murder.

Gettys was a bouncer at an illegal liquor house on B Avenue just off Beatties Ford Road when he got into a confrontation with Abraham, who was unarmed.

Gettys pulled a gun and shot Abraham three times. He died at the scene.

Gettys claimed he acted in self-defense. He testified that Abraham and another man had threatened to kill him and he thought both men were armed.

The jury also convicted Gettys of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was sentenced to at least 21 months in prison for that crime.

Gettys was a client of Mecklenburg County commissioner Pat Cotham at the Center for Community Transitions, a Charlotte nonprofit that helps people recently released from jail or prison prepare for productive lives.

Gettys was charged with murder about six months after Cotham helped him land a job at a distribution center on Wilkinson Boulevard.

She told the Observer Gettys’ arrest left her heartbroken and confused.

Wootson: 704-358-5046
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