FIRST ON WITN: Plea Deal In Elderly Man's Murder

There's been a plea deal in the death of an elderly man who was found in his apartment in 2009.

Stephen Gathercole, who also lived at Westwood Arms Apartments, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter before a judge in Craven County. First degree murder and armed robbery charges were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea.

Police say Gathercole killed 83-year-old Edwin Yarbrough last September 21st. The man's body was found in his apartment by a maintenance worker who said the victim said the name "Steve" twice. Police also found a $100 bill in Gathercole's pocket that had the victim's DNA on it.

The judge sentenced the 63-year-old man is serve at least 9-3/4 years in prison, with credit for the two years he's been in jail. Yarbrough's son, Mike, told the judge he is trying to forgive Gathercole for his dad's death, but he can't do it yet.

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  • by Black Betty on Feb 22, 2012 at 07:44 PM
    This is typical of the injustice system. I'm not surprised. He robs and murders someone and gets 10 years because he is caucasian.
    • reply
      by OutragedToo on Feb 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM in reply to Black Betty
      You are not alone in not understanding this. I am a white person, and I do not support this type of injustice, white or otherwise. If he honestly admitted to the crime, and there was evidence to support that fact, a quick, simple shot to the head with a cheap .22 would be all he got if I had any say-so. Who knows what his nine years will cost taxpayers (if he even serves that long).
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 4, 2012 at 07:07 AM in reply to Black Betty
      Does the story thats why he got 10 yrs
  • by Anonymous on Feb 22, 2012 at 01:06 AM
    It angers me to think that if I were murdered, a DA could play "Lets Make a Deal" with my murderer so the murderer would get less than 10 years in prison. A human life is precious to the public. A life of a murder victim is cheap to the courts.
  • by rusty Location: aurora on Feb 21, 2012 at 02:08 PM
    why do you get the right to plea bargin? the victims don't. You either did it, or you didn't. why do you get the chance to "sell" yourself to the police/judge instead of being pronounced guilty or not? who came up with this "rip-off" of the justice system? and why isn't it done away with? it eliminates the possibility for any real justice to occur.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 21, 2012 at 12:36 PM
  • by MC Jamal Location: mean streets on Feb 21, 2012 at 08:16 AM
    This man got more time for killing that man than that boy got for killing his father,and they both got less time than "people" selling dope(you know what people i'm talking about).Got kids out there robbing a store under million dollar bonds,and some" people" out there killing getting 9 year(you know what people i'm talking about).What justice is there?None i say!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM in reply to MC Jamal
      No, so come on out and say "What people you are talking about."
  • by OBX flyer on Feb 21, 2012 at 08:04 AM
    Nine years? That's ridiculous!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 21, 2012 at 05:16 PM in reply to OBX flyer
      if he plaeds guilty or is found guilty the state needs to put him to death more tax payers dollars to put him in prision this state could balance the buget if they would clear out the jails

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