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Life sentence for man who shot Millinocket couple in 2017

Wayne Lapierre was killed and his wife was wounded in December of 2017.
Murray was found guilty of murder, aggravated assault, and robbery last year.
Murray was found guilty of murder, aggravated assault, and robbery last year.(Gray tv)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 11:59 AM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A North Carolina man will spend the rest of his life in prison for his role in a 2017 home invasion and brutal murder in Millinocket.

40-year-old Christopher Murray was one of three people charged with robbing and shooting Wayne Lapierre and his wife, Diem in the basement of their home.

Murray was found guilty of murder, aggravated assault, and robbery last year.

Wayne Lapierre was killed and his wife was wounded in December of 2017.

“Wayne, he loved life. He loved his children more than anything,” Wayne LaPierre’s wife, Diem had the witness advocate read a letter to the judge on her behalf.

“My family was turned upside down in just one night because evil men came to kill us for no reason,” she said.

Two others have already been sentenced in the case.

44-year-old Tony Locklear is serving life in prison for murder.

His daughter Alexis, also Murray’s ex-girlfriend was ordered to serve a year in prison for her limited role.

“Wayne had to watch as Diem was shot and Diem had to watch as Wayne was shot. This is torturous behavior and extremely cruel,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese.

Prosecutors told the judge that Murray was the “trigger man” that night.

The judge said he believes that Tony Locklear was the ring leader of this robbery and murder but that Murray pulled the trigger.

”This sentencing is different than the sentencing of Tony Locklear because of the absolute, undisputed evidence that it was Christopher Murray, the defendant that shot and killed Wayne Lapierre and shot Diem Lapierre twice in the head,” said Marchese.

The prosecution says Murray is a cold blooded killer who senselessly murdered Lapierre and seriously wounded his wife.

The defense says Murray doesn’t agree with the jury’s decision.

“Nothing can take away the tragedy of that night. I know my client regrets the chain of circumstances that caused his involvement in that. That is not to say, of course, that he agrees with the jury’s verdict but we must respect it for purposes of today,” said Stephen Smith, Defense Attorney for Murray.

Murray’s lawyer urged the judge to impose a 35-year sentence because it was Locklear who planned and executed the crime.

Murray's family also pleaded with the judge for mercy.

“Those definitions that they are using to describe him is not the young man that I grew up with. That is not my brother,” said Murray’s sister.

Murray spoke in court, too, despite his lawyer's advice.

He told Lapierre’s family saying they deserve to know what really happened that night.

He says he was coerced into committing the crime for fear of Locklear hurting him and his family.

”That night a gun was put to my head. I was given the option of having my life taken or doing something I regret. The decision I made, I regret. I really do. I kind of wish I had tried to take the gun from him, the shotgun he had to try to save Mrs. Lapierre and Mr. Lapierre,” said Murray.

He went on to say, “I was forced to do something that I didn’t want to do. I heard Mrs. Lapierre say that she prayed and God brought her back. She wasn’t the only in that room that night praying. She wasn’t the only one at the mercy of what they call a monster.”

The judge said that there was no testimony at Murray's trial to indicate he was coerced.

He sentenced Murray to life in prison, one day before Wayne Lapierre would have turned 62.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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