Wilmington transient pleads guilty in beating death


WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — Without benefit of a plea deal, a Wilmington transient pleaded guilty Monday in the February 2015 beating death of another man in a homeless encampment.

Stacy Wayne Brown, 48, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Feb. 1, 2015, killing of Donald Lane “Donnie” Ward, 51, during a hearing before Judge Phyllis Gorham in New Hanover County Superior Court. Second-degree murder carries a penalty of from 12 years to life in prison, depending on prior criminal record.

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Brown’s girlfriend, Joy Hood, 33, is also charged with second-degree murder, but a trial date has not yet been set in her case.

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