LUMBERTON — A woman who was a teenager at the time of the crime pleaded guilty Wednesday to a 2015 murder and was sentenced to a maximum of 17 years in prison.
Tierra Kay Hammonds, 20, was accused of shooting William Christopher “Papa” Hardin, 36, of Rozier Church Road, in the head at midnight on Aug. 4, 2015, and was originally charged with first-degree murder.
Hammonds’ trial was set for Monday but she pleaded down to second-degree murder and sentenced to between 12 and 17 years in prison by visiting Judge Winston Gilchrist. Gilchrist is a Superior Court judge for the 11A Judicial District of the Fourth Division of the Superior Court, serving Harnett, Johnston, and Lee counties in North Carolina.
Hammonds was represented by Danny Britt, a court-appointed attorney, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Martha Duvall.
Hammonds’ circumstances at the time of the crime were contributing factors to the plea deal, Duvall said.
“She was very young, she had no priors and she attended early college,” Duvall said. “These mitigating factors affected the sentence.”
Hammonds was 18 years old when the shooting occurred in the carport at Hardin’s residence after an altercation between Hardin and Hammonds’ boyfriend at the time.
The boyfriend, who was never identified by name in the statement, had struck Hardin multiple times with a stick before Hammonds emerged from a car, where she had been waiting with a handgun, and shot Hardin, according to information released by the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office after the shooting. The couple returned to their vehicle and drove off.
Hardin was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center, and died during the early morning hours of Aug. 5, 2015.
Hardin left behind a son, Adam Christopher Hardin, and his sisters and brothers, Wanda, Sheila, Tiffany, Frankie, Kim, Wendy, and Kelly Hardin, all of Lumberton.
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