District Attorney Scott Thomas says four people have pleaded guilty in a 2012 murder case in Craven County.
23-year-old Titus Dawson, 21-year-old Dwayne Evans, 24-year-old Christopher Bryan and 24-year-old Kevin Henderson, all of New Bern, entered guilty please in Craven County Superior Court.
The victim, 46-year-old Jeff Joyner of New Bern was found shot lying face-down just inside the doorway of his house on Poplar Street.
Thomas said the defendants had concocted a plan to commit the home invasion after one claimed to have purchased drugs at Joyner's residence.
They then planned to rob everyone in the house, and even spent time conducting surveillance on the house.
After the robbery they ran from the house and Joyner chased them. That's when Thomas says Dawson shot him.
Dawson was sentenced to 21-28-years for second degree murder, armed robbery, first degree burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
The other three were sentenced to 12-16-years on charges of armed robbery, first degree burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
Joyner's three sisters were present in court for the guilty plea proceedings, and District Attorney Scott Thomas read a victim impact statement that they had prepared.
They described how this crime of violence affected their family. Thomas said, "We are pleased all four of these defendants have accepted responsibility and pled guilty for their respective roles in this case. All four are going to prison for many years all because they wanted to steal drugs and money. Based on the evidence we had in this case, we believe the pleas and sentences are appropriate. The victim's family was supportive of this disposition and relayed their appreciation for the work of the police department and District Attorney's Office."