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District attorney to seek death penalty in case of Greensboro veteran found burned in hotel

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Left to right: Stephen Patrick White (victim) and Garry Joseph Gupton (suspect)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The district attorney’s office will seek the death penalty in the case of a Greensboro veteran who was found after his hotel room was set on fire.

Stephen Patrick White, 46, was found beaten and burned at a hotel in Greensboro in November 2014. He died about a week after the incident.

Garry Joseph Gupton, then 26, has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson in connection to the crime.

Police said the two met at the Chemistry nightclub gay bar and left together and went to a hotel.

About 4:30 a.m., police and firefighters raced to Battleground Inn, 1517 W. Wendover Terrace. When authorities arrived, they found flames and smoke pouring from a fourth-floor room.

First responders found White unconscious in the room and suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. Police arrested Gupton at the hotel.

During the week of May 16, the issue will go before a Superior Court judge who will decide whether the district attorney can pursue the death penalty against Gupton, according to Howard Neumann, chief prosecutor.