Johnny Hyde North Carolina Death Row
johnny hyde

Johnny Hyde was sentenced to death by the State of North Carolina for the robbery and murder of Leslie Howard. According to court documents Johnny Hyde and two codefendents James Blake, and Joel Coleman decided to rob Leslie Howard and in the process of the robbery the victim would be stabbed to death.

North Carolina Death Row Inmate List

Johnny Hyde 2021 Information

Offender Number:0542024                                          
Inmate Status:ACTIVE
Probation/Parole/Post Release Status:INACTIVE
Birth Date:07/26/1972
Current Location:CENTRAL PRISON

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Based on defendant’s statement to Onslow County Sheriff’s Detective W. Len Condry and Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown, the State’s evidence tended to show that on the night of 1 August 1996, defendant was drinking with James Blake and Joel Coleman at a shed next to defendant’s house.   Defendant heard Blake and Coleman discussing where they could obtain other drugs since the blue pills that they were ingesting were not intoxicating enough.   Blake and Coleman mentioned that Leslie Egbert Howard, the victim, always had drugs in his residence.   Defendant then listened as Blake and Coleman planned the break-in of the victim’s mobile home;  the victim was considered an easy target since he was always alone.   Sometime after midnight, Blake and Coleman asked defendant for his assistance in breaking into the victim’s residence to steal “weed.”   Defendant agreed, and they gathered several items from defendant’s shed.   Blake and Coleman dressed in camouflage-style coats, gloves, and toboggans.   Defendant carried a knife and a hand saw, while Blake carried an ax head and a pipe.

Defendant, Blake, and Coleman then walked to the victim’s mobile home.   Blake used the ax head and pipe to pry open the front door.   Defendant led the way down the hallway to the victim’s bedroom and found the victim sitting up in the bed.   The victim then lunged at defendant, and defendant stabbed the victim several times with the knife.   When the victim fell to his knees, either Blake or Coleman hit the victim in the back of the head with the pipe.   The victim then fell to the floor on his back.   Defendant stabbed the victim in the side and in the back with a drill bit from the shed.   Defendant then began cutting the victim’s throat with the hand saw until the sight of blood and the foul smell became nauseating.   Sheriff Brown asked defendant about his intention when he used the saw.   Defendant replied, “I guess to kill him.   I guess we thought he would tell the next day if we didn’t after all we did.”   Defendant further stated, “I went over there that night just to be the muscle to help them get the herb.   I had no intention of killing [the victim] when we went over there.”   Coleman resumed cutting the victim’s throat for about three minutes while Blake was in the living room keeping a lookout.   Someone then yelled that a car was approaching, and then all three men ran from the victim’s mobile home back to defendant’s shed.   Blake set fire to all the weapons in a barrel to “burn off the blood” and then placed them in a trash receptacle to be picked up the next day.

When defendant returned to his residence, his sister saw that defendant was covered in blood and asked him what had happened.   Defendant told his sister that he thought that he and the others “had just killed [the victim].”   Defendant’s sister assisted defendant in washing his bloody clothing.   All the clothing came clean except for a small spot of blood on the T-shirt he had worn.

On 2 August 1996 the victim’s father discovered the victim’s body. Shortly thereafter members of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department and the Onslow County Emergency Medical Services arrived.   An emergency medical technician determined that the victim was deceased.   The cause of death was a combination of multiple stab wounds to the chest and abdomen, blunt trauma to the head, and massive lacerations to the neck.   None of the weapons used to kill the victim were recovered at the murder scene.

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