12/16/12 — Man pleads guilty to 2011 Mount Olive murder

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Man pleads guilty to 2011 Mount Olive murder

By John Joyce
Published in News on December 16, 2012 1:50 AM

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Carlos Antonio Bran Calderon

Rather than face a trial on first-degree murder charges, Carlos Antonio Bran Calderon, 25, 103 Timothy St., pleaded guilty in Wayne County Superior Court Tuesday to one count of second-degree murder.

He was then sentenced a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 18 years in prison for the killing of 32-year-old Edwin Alexander Sura-Cruz.

"(Edwin's) longtime girlfriend was still traumatized by this and grieving for Edwin," said assistant district attorney Jennifer Bedford.

The prosecutor did not want to punish her and the victim's family more by putting them through a rough trial, she said, and Calderon was ready to beg for forgiveness.

"The family said that they had forgiven him for the horrible and awful crime, and that they hoped he prayed for (his own) forgiveness," Ms. Bedford said. "I've never seen that before."

Cruz was murdered inside his own home at 598 Waller Road, Mount Olive, during the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011.

Deputies from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office found Cruz's body when they responded last November to a report of an assault taking place at his address.

It later was revealed that a dispute fueled by alcohol led to the fight that ended with Cruz being beaten in a way that Ms. Bedford described as "atrocious, heinous and cruel."

That was what elevated the charge to aggravated status, allowing for the harsher sentencing, Ms. Bedford said.

Calderon was able to elude deputies and canine officers for more than eight hours, until a neighbor called 911 to report a suspicious person lurking near the woods on Waller Road.

He was captured just after 10 a.m. on Nov. 5, and was placed in the Wayne County Jail where he was held without bond until his trial.

Now that he has been convicted, Calderon, who is not a U.S. citizen, will remain in prison until the completion of his sentence before he is deported.