Three plead guilty to murdering dentist

Published: Dec. 11, 2009 at 5:35 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2010 at 5:30 PM EST
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SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Three people who murdered a Salisbury dentist in June of 2008 pleaded guilty to the crime in court Friday morning.

The body of 47-year-old Dr. David Boyd was found face down on the edge of the bed in his Pine Tree Road home on June 26.  He was bound with electrical cord and tied to the bed.

Within two days, three people were arrested for the crime.

Candice Jo Drye told investigators with the Salisbury Police Department that she had been exchanging sex for drugs from Dr. Boyd.

Drye, John Barnette, and his cousin, Chris Boyd, were all charged with murder.

Chris Boyd was not related to Dr. Boyd, but was the brother of Candice Drye's boyfriend.

During the proceedings on Friday, the prosecutor explained that Barnett and Boyd had gone into Dr. Boyd's house to rob him and that they put on Halloween masks in which they found downstairs.

The two then went upstairs where they found Dr. Boyd sleeping.

Rowan County District Attorney Bill Kenerly then described how the robbery turned to murder.

"Barnett called Christopher Boyd by name in the presence of Dr. Boyd, and when Barnette did that, Christopher Boyd said 'He knows my name--I have to kill him,'" Kenerly told the court.  "He got on the bed behind Dr. Boyd, and strangled him with a belt."

As part of a plea agreement, all three pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Kenerly identified Chris Boyd as Dr. Boyd's killer.  Boyd received the maximum sentence of between 40 and 50 years in prison.

By pleading guilty, Chris Boyd avoided the possibility of the death penalty.  Prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty against Drye and Barnette.

Drye and Barnette each received sentences of at least 19 years, 4 months and 25 years.

Drye wept during the proceeding Friday morning and held a picture of her three young children.

All three took turns offering apologies to the Boyd family.

Candice Drye's voice broke when she said, "I hate this for your children more than I do anything, and I'm sorry, I'm very sorry."