WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington teen is headed to prison after a jury found him guilty of a 2017 beating death with his father.
Leonard Pocknett III, 18, was convicted of second-degree murder following four days of testimony in New Hanover County Superior Court.
Judge Kent Harrell sentenced Pocknett to serve between 13 and 17 years in prison.
58-year-old Gregory Gineman and a friend were riding bikes home in the Seagate area shortly before midnight on May 10, 2017 when a green SUV nearly struck him.
Gineman’s friend stated that Gineman yelled something at the driver, who turned out to be Pocknett’s father, Leonard Pocknett, Jr. Pocknett III admitted to investigators that he was in the passenger seat in his father’s vehicle during it.
Pocknett III said that he got out of the car and attempted to chase Gineman after the verbal fight. When he couldn’t catch him, Pocknett III got back into the car with his dad and the two followed Gineman to his home on Myrtle Avenue. It was there that Pocknett Jr. began to attack Gineman despite his attempts to apologize to the men. Pocknett, Jr. confessed to punching Gineman multiple times, telling detectives that his son joined him in the assault.
He also stated that his son kicked Gineman while he was on the ground. Pocknett III was later interviewed and admitted punching Gineman at least twice, but blamed his father for the kicks. There was no evidence that Gineman attempted to strike either one of the men during the incident.
Medical records showed that Gineman was extremely intoxicated and weighed a mere 140 pounds at the time. He suffered multiple rib fractures, spinal fractures, head injuries and lung damage. Doctors also found two of his teeth lodged in his chest. Pocknett, Jr., who was 43 years old, measured 6’4” and weighed more than 300 pounds. Pocknett III was 6’7” and weighed 190 pounds. Gineman remained in a coma until his death on May 26, 2017.
Pocknett, Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in March 2018. He is currently serving a 23 to 28 year active sentence in the NC Department of Correction.