Before Friday, four men had either pleaded guilty or been found guilty in connection with the 2016 murders of Deidra Ramseur and Mark Wilson at their home in Claremont.
That number grew to five Friday afternoon when a jury convicted Hickory resident Arsenio Dewayne Curtis, 32, of first-degree murder after less than an hour of deliberations.
Speaking to the court prior to Curtis’ sentencing, Deidra’s sister Latara said she considered Curtis to be “maybe the worst person out of all them because once you got there to that house and you received what you went for, you could have easily walked out of there.”
“I don’t wish nothing good for you,” Latara Ramseur said, echoing the words she spoke at the sentencing of Jordan Rivera, another defendant in the case, earlier this year.
Deidra’s mother Teresa Rippy also spoke in court. She told Curtis she believed he had a heart and expressed hope that he might be able to use his experiences to teach others who might not be so far gone.
“This society that we live in sometimes brings us to these journeys that we regret in life but my thing for you is, I pray that God touch you to reach out to some young man that’s going through this journey,” Rippy said.
She also said she wished Curtis’ parents strength, adding that she could have been in their position had things turned out differently.
Curtis’ conviction brings resolution to a case that has been ongoing for nearly six years.
Through other trials and plea hearings, a narrative of the events leading up to the killings of Ramseur and Wilson on March 12, 2016 has emerged.
Jordan Rivera was identified as a mastermind of the plan to steal drugs and money from Ramseur and Wilson.
He enlisted the help of four other men: Curtis, Reand Rivera, Devin Ussery and William Powell.
Ussery drove Curtis, Powell and Reand Rivera to the house. Reand Rivera and Powell were both armed.
Curtis kicked in the door and demanded to know where the drugs and money were.
Before they left, in the words of prosecutor Lance Sigmon, Curtis instructed Powell and Reand Rivera to “take care of their business.”
“What was that business?” Sigmon asked and then answered: “Leave no witnesses.”
Curtis’ defense attorney J. Edgar Halstead told the jury Curtis maintained he took no part in the robbery or killings, something Curtis himself told the court during his sentencing hearing.
“Despite whatever the state said or what anybody said about me, I did not kill Deidra or Mark,” Curtis said. “I did not have no involvement with Deidra or Mark getting killed.”
Judge William Pomeroy sentenced Curtis to two consecutive life sentences as well as lesser prison time for his other convictions.
In addition to first-degree murder, Curtis was also found guilty of robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and first-degree burglary.