Halifax County man headed to prison for life after pleas in five murders

HALIFAX COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -A suspect charged in five murders in Halifax County has taken a plea in all of them and is headed to prison for the rest of his life.

The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office says James Powell entered Alford pleas in the August 2017 murders of James and Janice Harris and James and Peggy Whitley of the Glenview community. Prosecutors say Powell killed the two couples as they played cards in Enfield. He also entered the Alford plea to a second-degree murder charge in the January 2018 murder of Travis Johnson of Deer Run Drive in Roanoke Rapids.

An Alford plea is when someone does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is evidence that could lead to a conviction.

Powell was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences for the 2017 murders and between 26 and 32 years for the 2018 murder.

The sheriff’s office says there is no evidence that anyone else was involved in these murders, but will investigate any new information if it would turn up.