HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – A Hendersonville man was sentenced to a minimum of 38 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in a 2018 Henderson County homicide.

Henderson, Polk and Transylvania County District Attorney R. Andrew Murray announced Tuesday that 39-year-old Terry Jason Brank received a minimum sentence of 38 years and a maximum of 46 years in prison for the 2018 murder of 54-year-old Laura Cox.

Brank pled guilty to second-degree murder on April 27, 2022.

On July 10, 2018, deputies with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in the Dupont Estates Community in Hendersonville to conduct a welfare check after a neighbor called with concern for Cox’s safety.

The neighbor said Brank informed them that Cox was dead in their shared trailer, according to trial records.

Records state that Brank was intoxicated and admitted to deputies that he killed Cox. She had been stabbed to death.

“Brank was evaluated for diminished capacity as a defense, and for his mental competency to stand trial,” a release from the district attorney’s office stated. “He was found to have significant mental impairments but ultimately found to be minimally competent to stand trial and participate in his own defense with appointed counsel.”

Assistant District Attorney Doug Mundy handled the prosecution. Superior Court Judge Peter Knight sentenced the defendant.