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Danny Hembree makes plea deal with court in second murder case

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GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) -

Convicted death row inmate Danny Hembree made a plea deal with the state Tuesday morning in the murder case of Randi Dean Saldana.

On Tuesday morning, Hembree plead guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of the 30-year-old Saldana. He was sentenced to 313 to 385 months in prison.

WBTV talked to Saldana's mother, Robin Moore, Tuesday after the sentencing. She says she has forgiven Hembree for killing her daughter. "I forgive Danny for what he did to my daughter, because I have to forgive if I ever see her again. God says you have to forgive and I do."

Moore says she didn't attend the court hearing this morning because of the emotional toll it has already taken on her.

"He's paying from this day on for what he did. He's going start today and he's going to pay for the rest of his life," said Moore. She also said she doesn't believe Danny Hembree has faced real justice. 

"Justice is going to come for Randy when Danny faces God, that's when he's going get justice."

Before the plea deal was struck, Hembree was expected to start trial on March 11th.

Hembree was on trial last April for Saldana's 2009 murder. But his attorneys withdrew from the case after Hembree claimed, in court, that he slept with the Assistant District Attorney.

Prosecutors say that claim was not true because Hembree was in jail before his trial. But the situation caused such an uproar that the judge declared a mistrial.

Hembree was found guilty in 2011 for the murder of another woman, Heather Catterton. He was sentenced to death in that case.

A third murder charge was dismissed. That charge stemmed from a 1992 cemetery killing of 30-year-old Deborah Ratchford.

Hembree told investigators that he had killed both Saldana and Catterton at the home he shared with his mother.

He confessed to investigators that he killed all three women. Hembree is being held on death row at Central Prison in Raleigh.

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