Ohio man convicted of killing three in North Carolina

.The Associated Press

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CHARLOTTE — An Ohio man has been convicted of killing three people in North Carolina more than six years ago.

A Mecklenburg County jury spent less than four hours before returning a guilty verdict against Justin Hurd on Monday.

The jury said Hurd killed Jasmine Hines, 18, her aunt Kinshasa Wagstaff, and Wagstaff’s boyfriend, Kevin Young in 2008. Hines was living with the couple while working and taking some classes.

Prosecutors said Hurd’s DNA was found in an SUV in Wagstaff’s garage, as well as in Young’s car, which was parked next to Hines’ body when it was discovered.

The attorneys would not talk about the case.

The bodies of Wagstaff and Young were found in her burning home. Hines’ body was found in Huntersville several hours later.

Her mother, Melanie Miller, said only that the conviction she hoped for came on her daughter’s birthday.

Witnesses said Young was a drug dealer who owed money to a New York operator.

Prosecutors said informants said Hurd was an enforcer for the New York drug ring. Prosecutors said Hurd and several other men spent hours in the house looking for money or drugs to cover the debt.

The jury will begin hearing testimony Wednesday on whether Hurd should die for the killings. North Carolina juries sent only one person to death row last year.