Jury finds man guilty in 1993 double murder

By Gary L. Wright and Mark Price

gwright@charlotteobserver.com; msprice@charlotteobserver.com

A jury has found Antwan Sanders, 33, guilty of first degree murder in the 1993 slayings of Charlotte teenagers Tasha Lopes and Raylynn Chelten. He was sentenced to three consecutive life terms.

The jury began deliberations early Friday and continued through the day on Monday.

Sanders is one of three men charged in the case, that was resurrected in 2003 by the Charlotte police department's then new “cold case” homicide investigation squad. Myron Terrell Burris has already pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree murder in the case, and Robert Chevelle Friday is expected go to on trial next.

Sanders trial began July 31, and included the testimony of Sanders and Burris, as well as witnesses who claimed they saw the two girls being forced at gun point into a car the night they disappeared.

Tasha, 17, and Raylynn, 15, were kidnapped on the night of June 3, 1993, sexually assaulted and shot. The teens' bodies were found five days later near the Chemway Industrial Park in northwest Charlotte.