A jury found the last of the six main co-defendants in the execution-style murder of Josh Bailey guilty Friday evening of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder.
Brandon Greene, 32, is scheduled to be sentenced Monday morning in Orange County Superior Court, but Orange-Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall said there will be no surprises. North Carolina law requires that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole since he was found guilty of first-degree murder.
Greene was not a member of the core group of younger individuals that hung out and committed crimes together, but he was present in 2008 as Bailey, 20, was bound, kidnapped and shot to death. He also arranged the sale of the gun that was used to kill Bailey.
Bailey knew and sometimes hung out with a group of young people that included Brian Minton, Jacob Maxwell, Jack Johnson II, Matt Johnson and Ryan Lee. On the surface, they appeared to be a group of teenagers who hung out at Caribou Coffee on West Franklin Street, talking, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, but they had a darker side that included using and selling drugs, firearms, and committing break-ins and a home invasion armed robbery.
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Minton, Maxwell and Jack Johnson, along with a couple of their girlfriends began to suspect that Matt Johnson (no relation to Jack Johnson) was snitching to police about their criminal activities, but when they confronted Matt Johnson in the garage at Minton’s home, he deflected the blame onto Bailey.
Under Minton’s direction, they bound Bailey and drove him to a rural area northwest of Carrboro and walked him into the woods.
Greene was present in the garage as Bailey was bound and loaded into an SUV. He went to the wooded area with the others and was among those who walked Bailey into the woods. There, Minton ordered Matt Johnson to shoot and kill Bailey, and Matt Johnson did, according to previous trial testimony
Later, Minton, Jack Johnson and Jacob Maxwell, along with a couple of other friends, and with the advice of Minton’s parents, dug up Bailey’s decomposing corpse and reburied near Jordan Lake.
Orange County sheriff’s investigator Tim Horne, who led the investigation, SBI Agent Phillip Stevens and other sheriff’s investigators, were able to locate Bailey’s body, and they charged the six main participants with first-degree murder.
Brian Minton was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years. The others pleaded guilty in plea agreements. Minton’s mother, Mishele Minton, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact and obstruction of justice, and was sentenced to 13 to 16 months in prison. His father, Gregory Minton, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to spend 60 days in jail.