Man pleads guilty in 2017 Nash County murder

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NASHVILLE — An Edgecombe County man will spend a minimum of 37 years behind bars after accepting a plea agreement in a woman’s 2017 Nash County killing.

Shantonio Lucas, 26, of Grant Lane in Rocky Mount’s Battleboro community, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping Thursday in Nash County Superior Court, according to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Quentin Sumner imposed a sentence of 28 years, 9 months to 35 years, 6 months on the murder charge and 8 years, 8 months to 11 years, 3 months for kidnapping. Lucas will spend a minimum of 37 years, 5 months to a maximum of 46 years, 9 months in N.C. Department of Public Safety custody.

Lucas faced kidnapping and first-degree murder charges in Glorika Cherta Townsend’s death after her body was found Sept. 5, 2017 near U.S. 64 and North Old Franklin Road in Momeyer.

Townsend was reported missing Aug. 31, 2017 and her car was found outside The Power Plant, a commercial office building in Rocky Mount.

After Lucas’ arrest, Sheriff Keith Stone told the Rocky Mount Telegram that Townsend and her accused killer knew each other.

In a Saturday news release announcing the plea deal and sentence, Chief Deputy Brandon Medina of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office credited collaboration between his agency, the Rocky Mount Police Department and the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office in identifying Lucas as the suspect.