NEWTON, NC (WBTV) - A former army soldier pleaded guilty Monday to accessory to murder in the March, 2016 deaths of two people in in Catawba County.
William Powell, who was an active duty soldier at the time was with a group of five men, according to investigators, who went into a home in Catawba County shouting “Police” to gain entry. Inside they proceeded to rob Diedra Ramseur and Mark Wilson.
The five had gone there, according to prosecutors, to steal what they thought would be a large shipment of drugs to the home. Instead, says the state, all they found was some cash and less than an ounce of marijuana. At that point both Ramseur and Wilson were killed by close range shotgun blasts. Powell was in the home but did not fire the shots, authorities believe.
In a plea deal, Powell will be sentenced to 15 years in prison for the accessory charges as well as robbery. He will also be required to give statements to prosecutors and testify if need be against other defendants still charged with murder. Another one of the five made a similar plea deal in September.
Ramseur’s mother, Teresa Rippy, says she doesn’t like the deals but understands why they were made and agreed to them for the sake of Wilson and Ramseur. “Because I want those who shot them to get what they deserve.”
Powell was given a chance to make a statement to the court where he could have apologized to the victims families who were there but he declined. Rippy said she was not surprised. “Because he is a coward,” Meanwhile the first trial of those charged with murder in the cases is expected in January.