Moore sentenced to life in prison
By Karen Hall
Sharod W. Moore, 32, who was convicted earlier this month of the first-degree murder of Ronald Shelton, was sentenced last week to life in prison.
"The jury convicted him of first-degree murder," said Circuit Court Judge Lee Russell. "I believe the sentence to be automatic."
"It's an automatic life sentence," agreed Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard. "It's 60 years with the possibility of a 15 percent credit, which would drop it down to 51 years."
Barnard pointed out that Moore was out on parole when he committed the murder, so he must finish that sentence (in 2016) before starting the one for the murder.
A motion for a new trial for Moore will be heard on Jan. 9.
A trial for Larry D. Mahaley was scheduled to start Monday, but had to be postponed to early January.
"The court's taken a lot of time with this case," said Barnard. "The confidential informant did leave the state, and did not stay in touch. He's not going to be here, and there's no way I can try this case without him."
Mahaley has been jailed since December last year, unable to make bond.
"It's unfair to keep the defendant in jail," Barnard said. "We will agree to reduce the bond to $10,000."
The judge made the order, and Mahaley is now out of jail.
In other court business, Jeremy B. Holder, 31, of Chapel Hill was sentenced to nine years for aggravated robbery and four years for aggravated burglary. He was the first one arrested after a home invasion in January, when a local man was tied up and robbed of $1,400 at gunpoint. These sentences will run at the same time, so Holder's effective sentence is nine years, of which he must serve 85 percent before being eligible for a parole board hearing.
Holder originally made an open plea of guilty, Russell said, and the court intended to have a sentencing hearing to determine how much time he should spend behind bars. Since then, however, defense and prosecution reached an agreement on the sentence, so the hearing was not necessary.
Also sentenced last week was Scott E. Robins, 38, of Franklin, who made an open plea to the charge of initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine.
Arguing for a longer sentence, Barnard said, "He has a large number of convictions -- a total of 14 misdemeanors and four out-of-state felonies. He's had previous probation-violation issues."
"He was 17 and 18 years old at the time of those felonies," argued Bill Harold for the defense. "The misdemeanors since have all had a drug or alcohol component. He had a good work history until last year. He's had a drug problem his entire life. I'm asking for an opportunity for him to get treatment. He needs a longterm rehab."
Barnard told the court some of the details of the crime: Robins was cooking meth in Henry Horton State Park, and left the equipment and ingredients unattended at his camp site.
"He left it where a child could have gotten his hands on it," Barnard exclaimed. "That's dangerous!"
Park Ranger Ryan Jenkins is listed as Robins' arresting officer on the Jailtracker website, and the date of the arrest was April 22.
Russell noted this crime is a B Felony, with a sentence range of eight to 12 years. He decided to go for the higher end of the range, due to Robins' history, and sentenced him to 11 years, of which he must serve 30 percent before being eligible for a parole board hearing.
Russell denied Harold's request for alternative sentencing, stating, "It appears to me he is an extremely poor risk, and highly likely to re-offend."