A North Carolina man who threatened to kill his ex-wife in Tupelo has pleaded guilty to charges he shot and killed his girlfriend and wounded her step-grandfather.

Richard Stanley Hogarth, 31, of Elizabeth City, N.C., entered his guilty plea in court in Pasquotank County, N.C., to reduced charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault with intent to do bodily harm. He faces a combined 43-year sentence.

Hogarth entered his plea on the fourth day of a trial in which the state was seeking the death penalty on a first-degree murder charge. Pasquotank County Sheriff Randy Cartwright said several people had testified about the March 8, 1995, incident in which Tracy Dawn Crafton, 24, and her step-grandfather, Ron Revering, 48, were shot several times at close range with a shotgun.

After the shooting, Hogarth reportedly called his ex-wife in Tupelo, telling her he was coming to get her. Tupelo police beefed up patrol around the woman's home. Cartwright said Hogarth told North Carolina authorities he did drive past his ex-wife's Tupelo home but kept driving because of the police presence.

Cynthia M. Jeffries

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