Man, 27, pleads to 2nd degree murder
By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on March 9, 2010 1:46 PM
A Mount Olive man accused in the shooting death of a Goldsboro man pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Monday afternoon.
Michael Lee Shipman, 27, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Javonnie Donta Langston in Wayne County Superior Court.
Shipman will serve between a minimum of a little more than 11 years to a maximum of almost 15 years in prison for the offense.
Ship-man had previously been charged by Mount Olive police with first-degree murder, following an argument at 126 Lee's Country Club Road in Mount Olive on Dec. 9, 2009.
Police did not say what the argument was about, but investigators did say that it escalated and led to Langston's death.
Police arrested Shipman shortly after the murder at his South Breazeale Avenue home in Mount Olive. He was held without bond in the Wayne County Jail.
In Wayne County Superior Court on Monday afternoon, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Arnold Jones allowed a number of relatives of both Shipman and Langston to speak.
Most of the relatives were Shipman's, including brother Craig Carlton, mother Dottie Shipman and aunt Emily Carlton.
Dorothy Oates, who served as Shipman's supervisor when she oversaw security at Mount Olive College, where Shipman worked, also testified.
The witnesses spoke of Shipman's good character and of their surprise that Shipman had been involved in the shooting death.
The state called only one witness, the victim's mother Jennifer Campbell, who showed pictures of her son.
The victim's mother said Langston had been a good son to her, and of her sorrow at losing him.
Other members of Shipman's family stood in the courtroom, but did not take the stand.
Jones did not impose any other specific punishments for Shipman, but ordered a civil judgment for attorney fees for his appointed attorney, restitution, and court costs.