Crime & Courts

Union County DA won’t seek death penalty in dismemberment case

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy

Union County prosecutors said Wednesday they will not seek the death penalty against a man accused of robbing, killing and dismembering an acquaintance in the summer.

Monroe resident Keith Edward McCarthy, 42, was arrested July 30 and charged with first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and concealing the death of Jaime Hernandez.

Wednesday’s disclosure in Superior Court came during a “Rule 24” conference that is required in first-degree murder cases. In those conferences prosecutors declare their intent on whether they would seek capital punishment if there is a conviction in the case.

At the end of the brief hearing, McCarthy, wearing an orange jumpsuit, slightly raised his shackled hands to wave to someone sitting nearby.

Hernandez, 41, also was a Monroe resident and lived about four miles from McCarthy’s home in the 400 block of Tucker Street. Hernandez was last seen alive on July 6.

McCarthy worked as a roofer for an Indian Trail contractor and Hernandez was an unemployed construction worker.

Hernandez apparently was killed between July 6 and July 8, court records show. Authorities have said they believe Hernandez was killed at McCarthy’s home.

Hernandez was robbed of $1,381 cash and beaten with an aluminum baseball bat before he died, court records show.

On July 24, a hunter found human remains in a wooded area off U.S. 74 in Stallings.

Garbage bags and a 50-gallon rugged tote storage container held the remains, court records show.

McCarthy remains in Union County Jail without bail.

Adam Bell: 704-358-5696, @abell