Chapel Hill man pleads guilty in 2008 murder

tgrubb@newsobserver.comJanuary 24, 2013 

— A third man was sentenced Thursday in Orange County Superior Court for his role in the 2008 slaying of Chapel Hill resident Josh Bailey.

Jacob Maxwell, 22, of Chapel Hill, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit first-degree kidnapping. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood sentenced him under a plea agreement to 360 months to 461 months – roughly 30 to 38 years – in prison.

Maxwell has been in the Orange County Jail since his September 2008 arrest.

His young daughter sat quietly through the hearing with his former girlfriend. As deputies led him from the courtroom, the toddler waved goodbye.

“Bye-bye daddy. Bye-bye daddy,” she called out. He turned to wave back and smiled.

Earlier, Maxwell hung his head and said he had rehearsed what he wanted to say to Bailey’s family, but “it was never good enough.”

“I know there are no words that can begin to explain the regret and the remorse I feel for what I’ve done every single day,” he said.

He also apologized to his family and friends.

“I just want everybody to know how sorry I am. And my family, I want them all to know that no matter what happens, I will always love them and I will miss them every single day,” he said.

The man who shot Bailey – Matt Johnson, 25, of Chapel Hill – was sentenced in December to roughly 24 to 30 years in prison.

In May, Brian Minton, 23, of Carrboro, got life in prison plus nearly 35 years for first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

Six other people – Brandon Greene, Ryan Lee, Jack Johnson II, Greg Minton, Mishele Minton and Chris Manley – await trial or sentencing.

Witnesses testified in May that Greg Minton was the group’s leader. Orange-Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall said Maxwell also was a leader, controlling the guns used in the group’s crimes and making decisions. He said Lee also testified that Maxwell was going to shoot Bailey until Brian Minton stepped in and ordered Matt Johnson to do it.

Grubb: 919-932-8746

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