Owens pleads guilty to fatal stabbing

A Bessemer City man pleaded guilty Monday in Gaston County Superior Court to the first-degree murder of a grandmother and the stabbing of her 12-year-old grandson.

Judge Nathaniel Poovey sentenced Kenneth Monroe Owens to life in prison without parole.

Owens was charged with the Nov. 12 stabbing death of Carolyn Barnette, 54, at her home in Bessemer City.

Authorities said Owens was a former boyfriend who wanted to steal the woman's prescription drugs.

Police said Owens also attacked Barnette's grandson, Troy Conn, with a knife, stabbing him 17 times.

Even after he was wounded, Troy was able to call his mother, who called 911. The community rallied to wish him well during his recuperation at Carolinas Medical Center.

Owens also pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, attempted first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury.