2nd defendant pleads guilty to 1993 murders

Robert Chevelle Friday pleaded guilty Thursday to 1993 murders of two teenagers – and avoided a trial and possible death sentence.

Friday was sentenced to life in prison for each of the murders. He entered his guilty pleas just three days after Antwan Sanders was convicted by a jury of murdering the two teens 15 years ago.

Sanders was sentenced Monday to three consecutive life terms – two for the murders and one for the sexual assault on one of the girls.

A third defendant, Myron Terrell Burris, has pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder. He is awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors had announced they would seek the death penalty against Friday. But they allowed him to plead guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of kidnapping.

The three men were charged with the murders of 15-year-old Raylynn Chelten and 17-year-old Tasha Lopes. The murders were among the first unsolved cases investigated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's cold case squad. When the squad was set up in 2003, the department had about 300 unsolved homicides spanning four decades.

The cold case squad arrested Friday and Burris in late 2003. Sanders was arrested in 2004.