October 14, 2019
Penobscot Latest News | Eastport | Bangor Metro | Wilson Hall | Today's Paper

North Carolina man pleads guilty to murder in 2017 Millinocket home invasion

Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN
From left, Christopher Murray, Tony Locklear and Alexis Locklear

One of three people charged in connection with a December 2017 home invasion that left a Millinocket man dead and his wife injured pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count each of intentional or knowing murder, elevated aggravated assault and robbery.

Tony Locklear, 44, previously of East Millinocket and Pembroke, North Carolina, does not have a plea agreement with the Maine attorney general’s office, which is prosecuting the case.

A sentencing date has not been set.

He faces 25 years to life on the murder charge alone.

Locklear and Christopher Murray, 39, of Red Springs, North Carolina, were charged with shooting Wayne Lapierre, 59, and his wife, Diem Lapierre, 34, on Dec. 19, 2017, in their Millinocket home. Wayne Lapierre died of bullet wounds three days later in a Bangor hospital. His wife survived her injuries, according to court documents.

Locklear’s now 22-year-old daughter, Alexis Locklear of Maxton, North Carolina, was charged as an accessory with felony murder and robbery in connection with the attack.

Tony Locklear’s attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor, said Tuesday that his client decided to plead guilty for his daughter’s sake. He pleaded not guilty to the same charges last March.

“He very much wanted to set the record straight regarding his daughter’s involvement,” Silverstein said. “He admits that he put her in a really bad position and that she was not a knowing participant. He was willing to admit his own misdeeds and culpability in order to try to improve her situation by being truthful. He also welcomes the opportunity to serve his sentence up here.”

Tony Locklear also faces murder and first-degree kidnapping charges in North Carolina in connection with the slaying of Braxton Chavis Jr. in Maxton on Dec. 4, 2017.

He was arrested on the Maine charges in Alabama in early March 2018.

Alexis Locklear is scheduled to plead guilty to some charges Jan. 22 at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor. Murray’s jury trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 28 in Bangor.

Silverstein said Tuesday that Tony Locklear is “unlikely” to testify against Murray.

Lapierre was a licensed medical marijuana grower who also owned storage facilities, a plowing and excavation company, and other businesses in the area, according to court documents.

The men went to the house intending to rob Wayne Lapierre, for whom Tony Locklear had previously worked, according to court documents. They left with two 5-gallon buckets of marijuana, between $400 and $500 in cash, and the rings off Diem Lapierre’s fingers, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese told Superior Court Justice William Anderson on Tuesday.

Marchese declined Tuesday to comment on the case. It is the practice of the Maine attorney general’s office not to comment on pending cases.
The Locklears and Murray have been held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail since their arrests.



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