Son Pleads Guilty In Father's Murder

A Washington man has pleaded guilty to killing his father in October 2010.

Gary Upton Jr. pleaded guilty to second degree murder. He was sentenced to 13 to a little more than 16 years in prison.

Upton was sentenced from the mitigated range. That means the court determined there were mitigating circumstances in the crime which allowed the court to sentence Upton from the lower end of sentencing ranges.

Officials said a family disturbance led to the shooting on Lilley Road.

Multiple witnesses said they heard a gunshot, looked out their window and saw a man dragging something in the street before he went back toward a residence. When one witness shined a flashlight from his home at the street, he saw a person lying in the road bloodied. The person was Gary Upton Sr., who later died at the hospital.


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Charges against a Washington man have been upgraded to murder after the suspect's father died.

Gary Upton Sr.passed away Wednesday afternoon at PCMH. Gary Upton, Jr. has now been charged with his dad's murder.

Washington police say a family disturbance led to the shooting on Lilley Road Monday night. The elder Upton was listed in critical condition at Pitt County Memorial Hospital early Wednesday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Multiple witnesses said the heard a gunshot, looked out their window and saw a man dragging something in the street before he went back toward a residence. When the witness shined a flashlight from his home at the street, he saw a person lying in the road bloodied.

Bond was originally set at 100,000 dollars. Police say an exact cause for the shooting is still under investigation and police say no other people are believed to be involved.


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Detectives said a family disturbance left one person shot with life-threatening injuries and a relative detained as the investigation continues.

Witnesses say they heard a gunshot, looked outside and saw a man lying in the 100 block of Lilley Road.

Washington Police say the incident happened on the 100 block of Lilley Road near the Department of Transportation along Highway 264 West. The call came in around 8:23 p.m. Monday night

Multiple witnesses say the heard a gunshot, looked out their window and saw a man dragging something in the street before he went back toward a residence. When the witness shined a flashlight from his home at the street, he saw a person lying in the road bloodied.

Police say the unidentified victim was first taken to Beaufort County Medical Center and then transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Truth Location: Washington on Jun 12, 2011 at 07:26 PM
    If this 40 some year old man did this to his OWN FATHER, what do you people think his is capable of doing to YOUR father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter etc.? Once more our justice system has failed. Gary Upton Sr. has been written off by our D.A. whose JOB is to represent him even in his death. Mr. Gary was very kind to me & my family. Shame on our justice system. Bad guy gets the break.......AGAIN!!
  • by Really Fact Location: Eastern NC on Jun 7, 2011 at 06:08 PM
    Hey Fact, your facts are wrong. Scooter MUST SERVE the minimum and could get the maximum reduced some but not below the minimum sentence of 13 years. May you should appologize to the DA and the Family!
    • reply
      by fact on Jun 8, 2011 at 02:02 PM in reply to Really Fact
      Maybe if you read my response to Mike I did research the Structured Sentencing Act and understand.I too hate it for the family but this is not about the family. It was about Gary Sr. It's the DA's responsibility to speak for Gary. Thirteen years for such a brutal murder is mighty soft. No Apology to the DA. If this offends the family then I apologize to them.
  • by Attention Location: ENC on Jun 7, 2011 at 03:26 PM
    not that it matters but Scooter has on a paper suit from the hospital. Pay attention people and get your training CSI on CBS clothes have to be seized fron DNA transfer. Grissom 101
  • by Debi Location: Eastern NC on Jun 7, 2011 at 01:40 PM
    Dear Fact: I'm sure you feel vindicated by voicing your opinion. As Gary's niece and Scooter's cousin it is my opinion that you are overstepping your bounds. Sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool than to open it and prove them correct. You do not all of the family history. It is a bad thing that happened and our family is still trying to heal. For all intents and purposes we've lost two members of our family, no matter how you feel.
    • reply
      by fact on Jun 8, 2011 at 02:11 PM in reply to Debi
      Sorry I offened you and hope you and your family can heal from something like this. This will be my last comment.
      • reply
        by to Fact on Jun 10, 2011 at 10:31 AM in reply to fact
        I dont see where your comment could offend anyone.The truth sometimes hurt.Gary Sr. did not deserve to die like he did and thats the TRUTH. At some point and time his son will be out carry on the rest of his life. Now Gary Sr. dont have that choice.His life was taken at the hands of his son. Proper healing comes when you accept the TRUTH. What his son did was WRONG and theres no changing that.Too bad Gary Sr cant just go away for 13-16 yrs and then come back into society.He deserved more than what he got and to me that is just a slap on the wrist. You got drug dealers who get more time than that.To me it was an injustice to Gary.Something is terribly wrong with our court system. Oh by the way do he get credit for the past months that he has been in jail too? But I look at it this way he might have gotten a lite sentence here on Earth , But one day Hes gonna have to answer to someone BIGGER than you and I and my my my I hope he can handle that sentence.
    • reply
      by to Debi on Jun 10, 2011 at 10:40 AM in reply to Debi
      You have only lost one member of your family. You can go visit ,have conversations or whatever with your cousin,but can you do that with your Uncle. In 13yrs will your Uncle be out walking around and living his life. No he will not. You cant say that you have lost 2 family members, because one is still living and one has gone home. ALL at the hands of his son.And as far as what happened a part of healing is talking about it so if Fact is not speaking the truth maybe you would care to enlighten us on how Gary died. Its a sad situation but at least Scooter has a chance to still be here but Gary is not and people who knew Gary seems to think the sentence was not FAIR and GUESS WHAT I AGREE!!!!!
    • reply
      by Truth on Jun 12, 2011 at 07:58 PM in reply to Debi
      Obviously the family history wasn't bad enough for Scooter to seek Gary Sr's support. As a child sometimes things happen that are out of their control, but as a grown man he chooses the environment that he is in as well as how to conduct himself. He CHOSE to go to his fathers house & ultimately murder him in his own home. I am extremely sorry for your loss. Had Gary Sr. gone to SCOOTERS HOME to shoot & beat him to death, Im sure that these "foolish" peoples comments would be reversed.
    • reply
      by Don't understand on Jun 16, 2011 at 09:20 AM in reply to Debi
      What did Fact say that makes him/her a fool in your opinion? If this is not what happened then enlighten us.
  • by fact Location: washington on Jun 7, 2011 at 08:34 AM
    What most people don't know about this case is everyone thinks Gary was shot to death. The fact is he would have survived the gun shot. Scooter beat his father to death with the stock of the gun. His skull was fractured on both sides and his face was shattered completley. This guy could be back on the streets in 5 years with this light sentence. No justice done here. Thank you Mr. D.A.
    • reply
      by Details on Jun 7, 2011 at 10:01 AM in reply to fact
      Thanks for the info! We would have had no idea. Were there no reporters in the courtroom during this (and many other) trial? There's hardly any point any more in reading past headlines.
      • reply
        by No Trial on Jun 7, 2011 at 11:17 AM in reply to Details
        There was no trial. He pleaded guilty.
    • reply
      by Mike on Jun 7, 2011 at 10:14 AM in reply to fact
      Apperatley your not familar with the structured sentancing act passed in 1994. That means you will serve all of your sentence. 13 years is what he will serve if hes a good boy inside 16 if he isnt.
      • reply
        by Annabelle on Jun 7, 2011 at 11:15 AM in reply to Mike
        Mike, The structured sentencing act does NOT mean he will serve every day of his sentence.
      • reply
        by facts on Jun 7, 2011 at 12:40 PM in reply to Mike
        Thanks for the info. I just finished reading The Structured Sentencing Act, then went to www.nccourts.org The N C Sentencing & Policy Commission and you are correct. I still think 13 to 16 years is to little time for such a brutal crime. Don't you?
        • reply
          by anonymous on Jun 7, 2011 at 04:01 PM in reply to facts
          I think you should allow the judge and the DA to do the sentencing. They were privy to facts that you don't know. You have a one sided vigilante opinion.
        • reply
          by Truth on Jun 12, 2011 at 07:42 PM in reply to facts
          I agree with you Mr/Ms Facts. It is a very weak sentence for such a brutal crime, ESPECIALLY considering that it was his OWN FATHER! I dont care what info the DA had that we didn't. Fact is that Gary Upton Sr was in HIS OWN HOUSE when his 40 year old son shot and beat him to death! Whatever transpired, Scooter could have simply left Gary house and sponged off of someone else if Gary was such a horrible father to him. He didnt HAVE to kill the man! He CHOSE to kill him!
    • reply
      by Really on Jun 7, 2011 at 06:09 PM in reply to fact
      FACT, you are wrong. Under NC law he has to serve the minimum, 13 years. He can get the maximum reduced, but not below the minimum. Maybe you owe an apology to the DA and the family
    • reply
      by dave on Jun 8, 2011 at 06:34 PM in reply to fact
      think you are wrong about the five years he will have to do the miminmun of 13 years no such thing as parole no more unless u were sentenced before 1994 when the state said lock um up and throw the key away
  • by neighbor Location: Washington on Nov 1, 2010 at 10:58 AM
    Everyone: Please have the good sense not to post even one more negative comment in regard to this situation. I live very close to their house. To say the very least, the neighborhood feels strange and terribly empty to me. I'm so very sad about this and I feel endless sympathy for the family. Please discontinue all the conjecture; it would be wise to post nothing but loving and supportive comments. Those who wish to relay negativity and actively gossip about this might be well advised to do it the old fashioned way. Find a water cooler and have at it, but be extremely carefull not to say anything that would negatively affect anyone close to the victim or any family members. Where in the world has gone a once pervasive and humble sense of propriety and generalized decency amongst human beings????
    • reply
      by anonomous on Jun 7, 2011 at 08:57 AM in reply to neighbor
      you have a lot of instructions for everyone don't you? Thanks but no thanks!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 7, 2011 at 10:46 AM in reply to neighbor
      Wow Nice adjectives.
  • by fact on Oct 31, 2010 at 07:00 PM
    Erin, 5 years ago Scooter would have been 35 far from being a child, but still able to be abusive to his father. By the way this was not a picture of his drivers permit, he did not have one. The picture showes what he had on when this happened.
  • by Truth Location: Washington on Oct 29, 2010 at 11:54 AM
    TO Erin: MORE "FOOD FOR THOUGHT".......My Father is the ony man that has ever knocked me unconscious. He Cursed me very much when I was a teenager. I still love him because he is my father, but I will never again willingly live under the same roof, or call him to drive clear across the United Sates to come pick me up when I'm in need of a helping hand. I would rather die. Scooter, on the other hand , had no problem with asking is father for theses things. Obviously he knew that his father was caring of his son. So go ahead, blame it on the "snap" factor, it can happen to all of us, but it does NOT justify the action! Who's side will u be supporting when someone snaps on YOUR father, mother, brother, sister, friend?
  • by Rex Location: Trenton on Oct 25, 2010 at 09:53 AM
    To Emma: That was a really nice post. I will always remember Gary too. It just wasn't the same on Friday without him. He always stopped in at Walmart and Food Lion 144 to help me and when I first started he put my stops in order that would help me from backtracking. I worked for Gary only 6 months and he was a great friend and sales rep.
  • by Friend Location: Wash on Oct 23, 2010 at 08:32 AM
    To the family, this is a tragady. I am so sorry for what this family is going through. My heart goes out to everyone. The son for whatever reason has to face with what has happen. Again I am so sorry. I wish there was a un-do button.
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