Man sentenced in missing Goldsboro teen's 2012 murder


On Monday, a jury convicted 23-year-old Leonard Eugene Joyner of first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in Kennedy Fitzgerald McLaurin Jr.'s death.

An Amber Alert was issued for McLaurin after witnesses told investigators that the teen was abducted by three or four men on Sept. 9, 2012. They said the men forced McLaurin into a car in front of a housing project on Bain Street. His body was later found in Seven Springs on Sept. 22.

The teen was shot twice in the chest, beaten on the head with a shovel, and burned, according to his autopsy report.

Three other men -- 21-year-old Jerome Jilah Butts, 19-year-old Curtis Omar Etheredge, and 20-year-old Kevin Edward Smith -- have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in connection with McLaurin's death. They are currently awaiting sentencing.

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