ELIZABETHTOWN — A Bladen County jury on Thursday returned a guilty verdict for first-degree murder against Jessie Earl Simpson, a Clarkton man who was charged with killing Charles Bernard Stephens in 2012.
According to the Bladen County District Attorney’s Office, Simpson shot Stephens in the face with a semi-automatic pistol after an argument at a residence on East Railroad Street in Clarkton.
Stephens was rushed to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, where he was pronounced dead two days later.
Simpson was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The investigation was led by District Attorney Jon David with the assistance of Bladen County Sheriff’s investigator Kendal Kelly and District Attorney’s Office legal assistant Kelly Starkloff.
The case was prosecuted in Bladen County Superior Court by Assistant District Attorney Lee Bollinger and Irene Graham Riel.