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Mandrake Patterson Given Three Life Sentences In Greenland Shotgun Massacre

Posted: March 15, 2014 at 5 a.m.

STAFF PHOTO DAVID GOTTSCHALK Mandrake Patterson, center, speaks Friday with attorney Gregg Parrish in Judge William Storey’s courtroom at the Washington County Courthouse in Fayetteville after he pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder and one count of attempted capital murder in an exchange for life sentences.

FAYETTEVILLE -- A Greenland man accused of killing his wife and mother-in-law and critically injuring a third family member pleaded guilty in exchange for three life sentences Friday.

Legal Lingo

Capital Case

In a “capital” case is a prosecution for murder in which the prosecutor may seek the death penalty. When prosecutors bring a capital case, they must charge one or more “special circumstances” the jury must find to be true in order to sentence the defendant to death. Common special circumstances include multiple murders or a finding that the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.

Source: nolo.com

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