The Chapel Hill News reports that 25-year-old Matt Johnson has pleaded guilty to second degree murder and first degree kidnapping in the murder of 20-year-old Josh Bailey. Johnson’s prison sentence on the murder charge will run from between 16 years and four months to 20 years and five months.
Johnson is one of nine individuals who faced charges in Bailey’s death. Last spring, a jury convicted 23-year-old Brian Minton of first degree murder, first degree kidnapping and first degree conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping. He’s currently serving a life prison sentence. Several other individuals, including Minton’s parents Greg and Mishele, are facing charges of helping to cover up the crime.
On July 29, 2008, the group of suspects, including Johnson and Minton, are said to have been involved in the execution-style shooting of Bailey because they’d heard he’d told police about the group’s drug activities. During Minton’s trial, several witnesses testified that while Minton didn’t pull the trigger, he was the leader in orchestrating the murder.