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Onslow County man pleads guilty to murdering wife

By WCTI Staff
Published On: May 12 2014 11:57:37 AM CDT
Updated On: May 13 2014 05:47:12 PM CDT
RICHLANDS, ONSLOW COUNTY -

An Onslow County man has pleaded guilty to murdering his wife almost three years ago.

Juan Carter Hernandez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday morning in the death of his wife, 20-year-old Kandace, in 2011. He was then sentenced to between eight years and 10 years five months in prison.

"I would like to give my sincerest apologies to Kandace's family," Hernandez said in court. "I'm very sorry about the whole situation. I am here to accept responsibility for my actions."

According to the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, Hernandez fatally shot his wife at their home on Wilson Avenue near Richlands in July 2011 after an argument over rent money and marijuana.

Kandace's family were not satisfied with the sentence. In court, they begged the judge for more prison time for Hernandez.

"Short of life in prison or the death penalty would've sufficed. Our daughter was worth more than eight years," said Kandace's stepfather, Corey Larew, who added that the family did not accept Hernandez's apology.

A grand jury indicted Hernandez in February 2013. The defense had previously said it was a case of self defense.

Hernandez and his wife had been married for more than three years.

As part of Hernandez's plea deal, two other charges against him were dropped. Those charges involved an alleged assault on a government official while Hernandez was in jail for his wife's murder.

Deputies said Hernandez deserted the Marine Corps around the time of the crime.

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Court proceedings have been postponed in the trial of a Marine Corps deserter accused of murdering his wife.

Jury selection was originally scheduled for Monday in the trial of Juan Carter Hernandez, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, 20-year-old Kandace.

But the court was dismissed Monday afternoon. Proceedings will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

According to the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, Hernandez fatally shot his wife at their home on Wilson Avenue near Richlands in July 2011 after an argument over rent money and marijuana.

A grand jury indicted Hernandez in February 2013. The defense had previously said it was a case of self defense.

Deputies said Hernandez deserted the Marine Corps around the time of the crime.