04/25/07 — Convicted murderer up for parole after 16 years for Mount Olive beating

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Convicted murderer up for parole after 16 years for Mount Olive beating

By Lee Williams
Published in News on April 25, 2007 1:46 PM

A High Point man convicted of beating a Mount Olive man to death with a two-by-four in June 1990 will soon become a free man after serving only 16 years of a life prison sentence.

Larry Buckram, 53, is set to be released from the Davidson Correctional Center in Lexington on May 3 now that he has been granted parole, officials from the N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission said.

Buckram is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder in the death of Melvin Best. Buckram was convicted on Nov. 27, 1990, in Duplin County Superior Court after pleading guilty.

The charge stems from allegations Buckram struck Best, a 63-year-old retired U.S. Navy veteran, in the head with a two-by-four during an argument on June 6, 1990.

An inquiry revealed Best went to a man's home in Mount Olive to inquire about work. Buckram showed up and an argument ensued.

Buckram, who was then 36 at the time, struck the elderly victim with the board. Best died the next day.

Buckram was sentenced to life in prison, but will be released after serving only 16 years behind bars.

The state's current sentencing law, Structured Sentencing, eliminates parole for crimes committed on or after Oct. 1, 1994. However, the commission is responsible for paroling offenders who were sentenced under previous sentencing guidelines, officials said.