ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A Graham man was sentenced to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder on Friday, according to the Alamance County District Attorney’s Office.

Jeremiah Ezeil Hardaway, 23, of Graham, was convicted of the 2019 murder of Myson Russell Jr. in Burlington.

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Russell was standing in a yard on Cloverdale Drive when he was shot by Hardaway.

Hardaway was involved in an altercation with two groups of people the previous night and those groups had arranged to fight at a home on Cloverdale Drive the night of Russell’s death.

As the car occupied by Hardaway’s group approached the home, Hardaway pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots into the crowd. One of those shots struck Russell in the chest.

The occupants of the car were not aware that Hardaway had a gun and were going to the home to engage in a fistfight.

Russell was not involved in the previous night’s altercation and was not at the scene to participate in the arranged fistfight.

After a 7-day jury trial, Hardaway was convicted of Russell’s murder and given a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

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The case was tried to the jury by First Assistant District Attorney Alex Bass and Assistant District Attorney Sarah Burnick

Alamance County District Attorney Sean Boone issued the following statement after the trial:

“Drive-by shootings such as the one in this case are especially heinous because the crime combines murderous intent with a callous disregard for the lives of the innocent. Today’s verdict shows that the citizens of Alamance County have the courage to hold violent offenders accountable for such conduct, and we are thankful that they secured justice for Myson and his family. Members of the Burlington Police Department conducted an extremely effective investigation, which translated very well to the message delivered by prosecutors. It was truly a team effort on behalf of our office and law enforcement; moreover, it was a valuable learning experience for the less experienced members of our office to witness how an experienced prosecutor such as Mr. Bass tries these most serious cases.”

Alamance County District Attorney Sean Boone