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Woman convicted on charges she helped man escape arrest after killing in Winston-Salem

Woman convicted on charges she helped man escape arrest after killing in Winston-Salem

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A Winston-Salem woman was convicted Wednesday on charges that she helped her boyfriend escape arrest for murder.

Latasha Jeanette Hardy, 38, of Pleasant Street, pleaded guilty in Forsyth Superior Court to accessory after the fact to second-degree murder, according to court documents.

Judge David Hall of Forsyth Superior Court sentenced Hardy to a minimum of four years and a maximum of five years and 10 months in prison.

According to court documents, the plea arrangement was that in exchange for her guilty plea, Assistant District Attorney Ben White agreed not to prosecute Hardy for accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. White also agreed not to indict Hardy for accessory before the fact to first-degree murder and for aiding and abetting first-degree murder.

Hardy’s charges were connected to a 2018 fatal shooting. James Lamont Stephens, 32, of North Main Street, was found shot in the head at 3033 Gilmer Ave. on Nov. 7, 2018. Kenyana Jaquan Lowery, 29, of Marvin Boulevard, is charged with first-degree murder in Stephens’ death.

Search warrants said Hardy talked to Winston-Salem police detectives and acknowledged being Lowery’s girlfriend. She told investigators that she was there when Lowery is alleged to have shot Stephens and that she got rid of the alleged murder weapon, a handgun. According to search warrants, Hardy said she buried the gun in the backyard of her former home on Cornell Boulevard.

On Jan. 9, 2019, detectives went to the house and found the location where Hardy said she buried the gun. The gun was not located. Detectives said they received information that Hardy had moved the gun, but Hardy denied that allegation.

According to search warrants, Winston-Salem police arrested and then interviewed Lowery, who said he shot Stephens and that Hardy helped him get rid of the evidence. The search warrants said Lowery told investigators he did not know what Hardy did with the gun and that Hardy also burned the clothes he was wearing at the time of the shooting in her grill at her house on Pleasant Street.

The search warrants said both of Hardy’s vehicles were used to transport evidence and people during the murder.

It is not clear whether a trial date for Lowery has been set.

336-727-7326

@mhewlettWSJ

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