EVERETTE HEWITT

Everette Hewitt declined a plea offer from the District Attorney's office on Wednesday, which means his case will move forward with a trial. Hewitt is charged with three counts of murder, first degree burglary and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Hewitt's trial is set for July 2014.

NEWTON N.C. – A Claremont man charged with three counts of murder rejected a plea arrangement that would have eliminated the possibility of a death sentence.

Everette Porshau Hewitt, 32, was arrested on March 16, 2011 after a 24-hour manhunt, according to previous reports.

Investigators said Hewitt was at Wade Sigmon’s mobile home in the Oak Knoll Park on Emmanuel Church Road on March 15, using crack cocaine. He left, only to return at about 4:45 a.m., knocking on the door.

When it opened, Hewitt shot the two women inside, 52-year-old Susan Blevins and 42-year-old Connie Miller, as well as Sigmon. Sigmon and one of the women died at the home. The other woman was taken to the hospital, where she later died.

Investigators said Hewitt then pointed his gun at Joseph Burke, who was also at the home, demanded Burke’s bankcard and PIN, then shot him in the neck and fled.

Hewitt was found the following day at the home he shared with his girlfriend on Corban Street in Claremont. Upon his arrest, he denied involvement in the deaths, saying he was innocent and that he did not rob people or sell drugs.

Hewitt is also charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, first-degree burglary, and robbery with a dangerous weapon. During his confinement at the Catawba County Detention Facility, he was charged with possession of a weapon by a prisoner.

On Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Sean McGinnis said Hewitt’s case has been delayed pending the results of blood and DNA tests. McGinnis said those results have been returned from the state and they indicate the blood and DNA of one of the victims was found on footwear belonging to Hewitt.

The District Attorney’s Office offered Hewitt the chance to plead guilty to the murder charges and serve three consecutive life sentences. Hewitt rejected the plea arrangement.

Superior Court Judge Richard D. Boner asked Hewitt whether he understood that by rejecting the arrangement, if he is convicted, he could be sentenced to death. Hewitt said he understood.

An administrative hearing for Hewitt is scheduled for January 2014 and his trial is scheduled for July 2014.

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