Bladenboro man pleads guilty in woman’s murder

Kelly Dwayne Hamilton (Photo: District Attorney's Office)

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bladen County man will spend up to 26 years in prison for shooting and killing a woman inside his home in Bladenboro.

According to a news release from the Bladen County District Attorney’s Office, Kelly Dwayne Hamilton, 47, pleaded guilty to second degree murder on Wednesday. He received his sentence following a hearing that lasted more than three hours and featured emotional testimony.

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The case stemmed from a 2016 shooting. Investigators say at 3:00 a.m. on February 11, Hamilton called 911 and said his friend, Crystal McLamb, had been accidentally shot.

Authorities arrived and found McLamb dead on the couch with a gunshot wound to the face. Hamilton maintained that he had left a loaded Taurus Judge revolver on the coffee table and that McLamb accidentally shot herself while picking up the gun.

However, a crime scene investigation revealed that two shots had been fired within the living room. Evidence collected from the scene indicated that Hamilton had replaced one of the two spent shell casings with an unfired round.

A spent shell casing was later found hidden underneath a mattress in Hamilton’s bedroom. Ballistic testing confirmed that the hidden shell casing had been fired from the murder weapon.

Hamilton was taken in for questioning regarding the shooting and gave statements to law enforcement that conflicted with the physical evidence found at the home. Following further investigation, Hamilton was arrested and taken into custody for McLamb’s murder.