Nearly four years after the murder of Josh Bailey, the first of his accused murderers has been convicted.
Brian Gregory Minton, 23, was convicted on all charges by a grand jury for the murder of Bailey, who was 20 at the time of his death.
Minton was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.
Orange-Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall said it was unlikely Minton would ever be released.
“He should spend the rest of his life in jail,” he said.
Eight other people were also charged in connection with Bailey’s murder.
Woodall said he would continue to prosecute the rest of the accused.
But because some have already entered plea deals, he said it will take some time for his office to determine who it will prosecute next.
Jacob Alexander Maxwell, Brandon Hamilton Greene and Matt Johnson are also accused of Bailey’s murder. All three have been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.
Maxwell will appear in the Orange County Superior Court in Hillsborough June 11. Greene and Johnson’s cases will be revisited June 12 in Hillsborough.
James Glover, Minton’s defense attorney, argued that the membership of the group was fluid and that it had no distinct leader.
During Minton’s trial, other members of the group, including Jack Johnson II and Ryan Lee, testified as witnesses for the state.
Jack Johnson and Lee both said the group accused Josh Bailey of leaking information on their illegal activities to police, then beat him, bound him with duct tape and took him to a wooded area.
Minton instructed fellow group member, Matt Johnson, to shoot Bailey. Jack Johnson and Lee said Matt Johnson shot him twice — once in the head, and again after he fell.
Steve and Julie Bailey, Josh Bailey’s parents, said they were pleased with the jury’s verdict and hope the remaining defendants receive the same guilty verdicts when their cases come to trial.
Julie Bailey said she tries to remember the things she loved about her son.
“Josh was a great kid with lots of energy, big smiles and hugs for everyone he knew,” she said in an email. “We doubt he ever understood the danger he was constantly in while in their presence.”
The remaining cases could take a year or more to complete, she said.
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