NEWTON GROVE – A Kenly man will spend the rest of his life in prison for his role in a 2016 double homicide in southern Johnston County. A Johnston County Jury found Jeremy Kyle Price guilty of two counts of first degree murder after a week-long trial that started June 27, 2022.
On March 10, 2016, Matthew Jones and Jessica Pyatte were shot to death inside a singlewide mobile home on Unity Drive, Newton Grove. Mr. Jones’ two year-old child was found inside the residence unharmed and was placed with family members.
Autopsy reports indicated two different weapons were used in the fatal shootings. Pyatte, 24, was shot seven times. Jones, 30, died from gunshot wounds to the head.
After the guilty verdict was handed down by the jury, Superior Court Judge William D. Wolfe sentenced Jeremy Price to consecutive prison terms of life without parole.
Assistant District Attorney Paul Jackson said, “The District Attorney’s Office is pleased with the verdicts and appreciates the Jurors’ thoughtful hard work in this case. We also want to thank the Johnson County Sheriff‘s Office for the thorough and professional investigation that made these verdicts possible. We hope the verdicts will bring some measure of justice and closure to the victims’ families.“
In April 2021, a co-defendant, Gerald Thomas Paul Jr. of Erwin pled guilty to two counts of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years 6 months to a maximum of 23 years 4 months in prison.
A third person, Tara Nicole Wilson of Dunn, had been charged with accessory after the fact for withholding information from law enforcement. Wilson testified at trial and cooperated fully with prosecutors. Because of her full cooperation and the extreme duress and fear she was under immediately after the crimes, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed her charges.
In June 2015, Gerald Thomas Paul Jr. and Tara Nicole Wilson were arrested on methamphetamine charges in Erwin. A month earlier, in May 2015, Ms. Wilson graduated as valedictorian from a private Harnett County school.