Man charged with murder after shooting acquaintance - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

NC man enters plea in 2009 murder case

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Thomas Edward Shipplett (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center) Thomas Edward Shipplett (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) A man accused of killing his friend in 2009 has pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges.

Horry County Public Index records show 61-year-old Thomas Edward Shipplett of Ash, NC pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter on August 15 for the death of a friend in 2009.

Shipplett has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay court costs.

In early April, jury selection began for a murder trial but a mistrial was declared, the solicitor's office tells WMBF News.

Shipplett was on trial for the death of a man killed following a shooting at a home in Little River in June of 2009.

Lt. Jay Brantly with the Horry County Police Department said police responded to the shooting on River Road around 9:20 p.m. That's when he said North Myrtle Beach police were approached by a person who said they had information pertaining to the crime.

Horry County Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard identified the victim as 56-year-old Dale McDuffy Hammond of Cerro Gordo, NC. An autopsy performed early the following morning revealed Hammond had died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Willard told WMBF News Hammond's permanent address was in North Carolina, but considered the home in Little River as a "second home."

Sgt. Robert Kegler with the Horry County Police Department said Shipplett was arrested and charged with murder in connection to the shooting. Police say he and Hammond were acquaintances.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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