Man gets life in prison for murder of popular Rowan convenience - | WBTV Charlotte

Man gets life in prison for murder of popular Rowan convenience store owner

Watson Watson
Murder victim Hecham Abualenian Murder victim Hecham Abualenian
Surveillance picture of the murder Surveillance picture of the murder
SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) -

Christopher Lee Watson will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of the owner of a convenience store during a robbery in December, 2012.

Prosecutors say Watson, along with Kevin Lamont Canzater and Maurice Robinson, went into the Z & H Mart on Highway 150 to rob the store. Store owner Hecham Abualenian was shot and killed during the robbery.  Watson grabbed the money from the cash register after shooting Abualenian.

On Monday Watson pleaded guilty to one count of first degree murder and three counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon. Watson received life without parole on the murder charge and 73-100 months for each of the three robbery counts.

Watson did avoid the possibility of receiving the death penalty with the plea.

In court on Monday Watson cried as a letter from Abualenian's wife was read aloud.  Watson then apologized to the victim's family and to the community.

Canzatar and Robinson are still awaiting trial.

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