North Carolina Man Sentenced in Murder Plot
Keith Clifton Hairston to Serve 600 Months in Federal Prison
DANVILLE, VIRGINIA -- A North Carolina man who previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and murder charges, was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
Following an extensive joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Henry County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Keith Clifton Hairston, 26, of Greensboro, N.C., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and in the course of that violation did result in the death of another person in the first degree.
Yesterday in District Court, Hairston was sentenced to 600 months in Federal prison.
"Mr. Hairston and his co-conspirators have been justly held accountable for their brazen act of violence," United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. "The Department of Justice will continue to devote all possible resources to reduce acts of violent crimes like this senseless murder."
“When individuals brazenly disregard the law with such violence, make no mistake, ATF will take these individuals off our streets. ATF’s mission is to remove violent offenders from our streets and put them behind bars where they belong,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge James Newman.
Previously, Rodney Lamar Hairston, 22, Tremain Alando Thomas, 27, Quentin Dwayne McNebb, 36, and Andrew Albert Christian Edward Armour, 21, each pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy and murder charges as Keith Hairston.
According to a statement of facts entered into the record and agreed to by each defendant, in 2010, Rodney Hairston, a Henry County marijuana dealer, contacted his cousin, a known gang member, to recruit other gang members to help him rob one of his regular drug customers. Ultimately, Keith Hairston, Thomas, Armour and McNebb agreed to conduct the robbery.
While Demarcus Levon Hairston and Akorean JaJauntex Murphy – the customers – were purchasing marijuana from Rodney Hairston at his trailer home in Henry County, Keith Hairston, Thomas, McNebb and Armour had driven down the road approximately one mile away and were setting up an ambush.
As the two customers left Rodney Hairston’s home, Thomas and Keith Hairston had exited their own vehicle, both armed with loaded pistols. McNebb and Armour waited inside the vehicle.
When Demarcus Hairston’s car pulled up to a stop sign, Keith Hairston and Thomas fired shots into the car, hitting both Demarcus Hairston and Murphy, who was in the passenger seat. Murphy returned fire. After the shooting ended, the car Demarcus Hairston was driving rolled through the intersection and into a ditch, where it came to rest.
Shortly after the shooting, Demarcus Hairston got out of his vehicle and was picked up by a passing truck and taken to a local hospital. Murphy laid on the front passenger floorboard severely injured and moaning. Keith Hairston reached into the vehicle and grabbed the bag of marijuana that was underneath Murphy’s body. Murphy later died of gunshot wounds to his head and chest.
The investigation of the case was conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Henry County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Donald Wolthuis prosecuted the case for the United States.