Three plead guilty in Boyd murder

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 11, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
Three people charged in the 2008 murder of Salisbury dentist Dr. James David Boyd pleaded guilty this morning.
In a hearing in Rowan County Superior Court, District Attorney Bill Kenerly announced that defendants Christopher Allen Boyd, Jonathan Alexander Barnett and Candice Jo Drye have each agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and other charges related to the crime.
Christopher Boyd, 22, of Kannapolis, who authorities identified as David Boydís killer, will receive the maximum sentence, Kenerly said. He will spend at least 40 years in prison with a maximum of 50 years.
Barnett, 20, of Kannapolis, and Drye, 25, of Mocksville, will each serve a minimum of about 19 years and four months in state prison and a maximum of 25 years.
All three defendants stood, looked at the David Boyd family and expressed their sorrow at what happened and asked for forgiveness.
Their attorneys repeatedly thanked the David Boyd family for agreeing to the plea deal that offers them a chance to one day be out of prison and with their families.
ěI wish I could bring him back,î a sobbing Drye told the family, saying she ěhated it for the children,î going on to say she has three children.
David Boydís widow, Kathy, used a tissue to wipe away tears. On the other side of the courtroom, the families of Drye, Barnett and Christopher Boyd cried openly.
There was no mention of sex for drugs during the hearing Friday morning. Kenerly gave a short recitation of the the case, saying that Drye went to David Boydís house to borrow money as she had in the past.
David Boydís body was found June 26, 2008, in the master bedroom of his home at 9 Pine Tree Road in the Country Club section of Salisbury. His body was discovered by an employee at his dental practice who went to the home when Dr. Boyd didnít show up for work.
The bedroom and an adjoining bathroom had been ransacked.
Investigators later said David Boyd had been under investigation by local and state agencies for allegations of trading prescription drugs for sex at his office on Statesville Boulevard. Drye told authorities she was one of the women who traded sexual favors for drugs.
About two dozen observers, including family members and law enforcement officers, attended the hearing .
Just before 10 a.m., bailiffs led Barnett into the courtroom, followed by Drye. Barnett looked around at those seated in the chamber. Drye did not.
About five minutes later, Christopher Boyd was led into court. After being seated, he looked around and appeared to whisper briefly with Drye.
Initially, Kenerly had planned to seek the death penalty for Christopher Boyd. He said in court today that, in addition to second-degree murder, Christopher Boyd and the other defendants had agreed to plead guilty to burglary, robbery and felony larceny. Christopher Boyd also pleaded guilty to pending Cabarrus County charges.
Kenerly said Kathy Boyd had agreed to the plea agreement and sentences.
Christopher Boyd got additional years tacked on for breaking and entering, larceny and burning a building ó Moss and Moore contractors on South Main Street in Kannapolis.
Kenerly said when Boyd was unable to open the safe in the business, he decided to burn it, resulting in $500,000 damage.
All three defendants have been held in the Rowan County Detention Center since being arrested shortly after the murder.
Special Superior Court Judge Robinson Hassell of Guilford County presided at the hearing and meted out the sentences.

For a timeline of events, click here.

The 911 call reporting Dr. Boyd’s murder can be found here.

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