KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — Three people have pleaded guilty in the shooting death of a man after a drug deal that escalated into a robbery in 2018.
District Attorney Jim O’Neill announced that Jacob Townsend pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and armed robbery in the death of Kenneth Kelley in June of 2018. Sajae Woodley and Justin Noland pleaded guilty to the same charges in May.
According to the DA’s office, Kelley advertised drugs for sale on social media and the three men sought him out, going to his Kernersville home to buy drugs. While they were there, it escalated into a robbery and Kelley was shot in front of his fiancee and two teenage family members.
He later died in the hospital.
Kernersville Police Department and the SBI identified Townsend, Woodley and Noland as suspects. Townsend was arrested in New York, Noland was arrested in Kernersville and Woodley was taken into custody during a traffic stop in Lincolnton.
Townsend’s minimum sentence is 116 months. Noland and Woodley’s minimum sentence is 76 months.