Man sentenced to life in prison for robbing, murdering Hugh Moose

Posted at 10:58 PM on Sep 11, 2019

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FROM STAFF REPORTS

With the likelihood of securing a capital murder conviction in the slaying of Hugh Moose uncertain and the odds of the State of North Carolina actually carrying out the death penalty diminishing with time, District Attorney Sarah Kirkman said she decided to get the best version of justice she could in the case.

Mark Arnold Pinkerton, 32, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Iredell Superior Court to breaking into Moose's Shiloh Road home and robbing and murdering the 80-year-old businessman on January 10, 2017.

Pinkerton, who was arrested in Pennsylvania on April 25, 2018, following a lengthy investigation by the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, was sentenced to life in prison. 

"This is a good outcome because it removes the uncertainty of a trial, where a jury could find the defendant not guilty or guilty of a lesser charge," Kirkman said in a statement on Wednesday. "It also limits the availability of options for post-conviction relief, such as appeals."

"Given that the State has not executed anyone since 2006, I have to look closely at each death penalty case and determine what is just and fair with that case," the district attorney added.

Pinkerton, who confessed to the crimes during questioning by ICSO investigators, will not be eligible for parole, under North Carolina law.

Sheriff Darren Campbell said justice was served in the case, although he would have preferred that the killer receive the ultimate punishment for his heinous crimes.

"I am extremely happy that Mr. Moose’s family will have closure going forward, and also that this killer will never see the world again except from behind prison walls," Campbell said. "He took the life of a well-respected man in the community, who will not have the opportunity to live out the remainder of his golden years. ... I would have absolutely supported the death penalty, but that is a decision for the family and courts."

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