Man found not guilty of killing grandmother gets maximum sentence on other charges

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A Craven County man who was found not guilty of killing his grandmother, yet guilty of other charges received the maximum sentence this morning.

James Gizzi was on trial last month for the shooting death of Marjorie Thompson. The woman was killed back on February 4, 2019. An autopsy said the 68-year-old Thompson was shot in the head before her home was set on fire.

Gizzi was arrested after deputies say he stole Thompson’s car and drove to Mississippi.

Craven County jurors found the man not guilty on the murder charge, but guilty of arson, robbery with a dangerous weapon, concealment of death, and other charges.

A judge this morning gave Gizzi a sentence of between 17 and 25 years on those charges.

“We were disappointed the jury found the defendant not guilty of murder,” said District Attorney Scott Thomas. “However, with guilty verdicts to seven related crimes, the defendant could now spend up to around 25 years in prison. We are glad Judge Willey sentenced the defendant, as we requested, to the maximum consecutive sentences allowed by law.”

Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said his prayers are going to continue to be with the family.

“This is going to be a very, very long recovery time for them as we saw today in the courtroom,” Hughes said.

While Gizzi will have an opportunity to file an appeal, Thomas says he is hopeful that an appeal will have the same outcome.

Gizzi is currently being processed at the North Carolina Department of Corrections before being assigned to a North Carolina prison facility.

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