Velez found guilty of accessory after the fact in 2017 murder of Cove City man during robbery

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Ashley Velez (Craven County Sheriff’s Office photo)

NEW BERN, N.C. — An Aurora woman was found guilty in a New Bern courtroom on Thursday by a jury for her part in a robbery that resulted in the murder of a man at a convenience store in 2017.

District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that Ashley Deanna Velez, 30, of Aurora was sentenced to a maximum of 14 years and 10 months in prison in the death of Scottie Allen Morton, 43 of Cove City. He was killed during a robbery at a store on Aug. 3, 2017 at Grady’s Old Country Store at 10805 Hwy. 70 West.

Back in January, Anthony Lamar Johnson, 24, was found guilty of first-degree murder and other charges. He was sentenced on Jan. 29. Brittany Leal testified for the state at the trials for Velez and Johnson. Her charges remain pending and will be handled at a later date, Thomas’ office said.

Scottie Allen Morton (WNCN photo)

The jury deliberated and came to a verdict in four hours after the seven-day trial.

Velez faced trial on the charges of First Degree Murder, Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon, Conspiracy, and Accessory After the Fact to First Degree Murder. The state presented 21 witnesses and 216 pieces of evidence, Thomas said.

“Assistant District Attorneys Karen Hobbs and Matthew Wareham did an excellent job preparing these cases for trial and presenting evidence to the jury,” Thomas said. “They were assisted by Legal Assistant Beverly Lynch. The Craven County Sheriff’s Office worked diligently and professionally during the investigation and prosecution of this case. They were assisted during this investigation by local and state law enforcement agencies, the North Carolina State Crime Lab, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Our sympathies and condolences continue to be with the family of Scottie Morton. We have worked closely with the family since the murder of Scottie to achieve justice in these cases. We will continue to work with them as the case involving the remaining co-defendant is concluded.”

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