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Man pleads guilty to 2020 Onslow County murder

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 12:21 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2022 at 1:24 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A man has admitted to killing another man two years ago during a robbery outside of Jacksonville.

Deon Townsell pleaded guilty this afternoon to second-degree murder.

Townsell was 20-years-old when he was arrested by Onslow County deputies for the May 27, 2020 shooting death of Nicholas Matthews.

Matthews’s Mother Argenette Walters spoke in court saying, “Judge I just feel like nobody wins here. You have two African American young men. One is dead and one is going to prison.”

Matthews’ Girlfriend Latoya Wilson felt Townsell showed little remorse. “I don’t like how he was smirking. He was smirking like it was funny. It wasn’t funny that he took somebody’s life and then the family has to suffer. We’re suffering.”

Townsell’s mother Amanda Townsell was also in court and still in disbelief.“I just want the court to know I’m sorry about your loss. I’m really sorry about what happened. I just don’t know what happened but I know my son is not a killer.”

The 33-year-old Matthews was shot on Myna Drive. Townsell was arrested five days later during a traffic stop.

Before the sentencing, Matthews’ family told Townsell they forgave him for the murder and hoped that he would make something of himself while in prison.

As part of the plea bargain agreement, Townsell was sentenced to prison for between 12 and 15 years for the murder.

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