Convicted NC killer pleads guilty to second-degree murder in other case
Danny Hembree Jr. (WSOC)
GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Convicted North Carolina killer Danny Hembree has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a second murder trial.
WSOC reported that Hembree made the plea Tuesday morning at the Gaston County courthouse.
Hembree’s attorney was reportedly fighting to get in evidence for his upcoming murder retrial last week.
He said Hembree ultimately decided he wanted to spare his own family the pain of another murder trial.
Hembree is already on death row for the murder of 17-year-old South Carolina resident Heather Catterton in 2009.
He was then tried for the murder of 30-year-old Randi Dean Saldana. That hearing ended in a mistrial after weeks of testimony.
Hembree told the judge he is guilty of killing Saldana on Tuesday morning.
Saldana’s sister cried as she addressed Hembree in court. She called him a monster and then said she had to forgive him.
Hembree is appealing the conviction in the murder of Catterton, which sent him to death row. He will serve 26 years for the plea he accepted Tuesday.