- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A Mecklenburg County jury has returned a life prison sentence for a man convicted of killing three people more than five years ago.

Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin on Thursday sentenced 35-year-old Justin Hurd to three consecutive life sentences.

Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for Hurd for the 2008 shooting and stabbing deaths of Kinshasa Wagstaff, Kevin Young and Jasmine Hines.

The same jury had spent four hours of deliberations before convicting Hurd of the deaths on Monday. The panel spent less than 30 minutes deciding on the life sentence.

Witnesses said Hurd was an enforcer for a New York drug cartel.

Hurd was asked Friday if he had anything to say.

“I just wanted to say that what happened here was terrible,” he said. “My heart goes out to all the families affected, of all the victims, and my family, too.”

Melenie Miller, Hines‘ mother, showed no reaction to Hurd’s remarks. She left the courtroom without comment.

Prosecutor Clayton Jones said Hurd took no responsibility for the crimes.

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