Harnett murder suspect pleads to a lesser charge

Feb. 26, 2014 @ 04:59 AM

A Harnett County man accused of committing murder in Sanford has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

DeCarlos Cherry, 21, was sentenced last week to 44-65 months in prison in connection with the shooting death of Benjamin Shelvin in Sanford about 10 months ago. Cherry lived in Lillington and Shelvin, 28, lived in Spring Lake. Police did not specify what brought them both to Sanford the night of the shooting.

The plea deal for Cherry came several months after prosecutors were unable to establish probable cause for a first-degree murder charge.

Shelvin was shot on Dudley Avenue in Sanford on the night of April 11, 2013, and died later from his injuries. Cherry was 20 at the time and was on probation for a previous felony conviction — for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, committed two days after his 17th birthday.