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Nebo man sentenced to life in prison for 2020 murder

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9 court Marvin Randall Hensley.jpg

Marvin Randall Hensley

A Nebo man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the shooting death of an 85-year-old U.S. Army veteran in his home.

On Friday, Nov. 4, 35-year-old Marvin Randall Hensley of Nebo pleaded guilty in McDowell County Superior Court to first-degree murder.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to a news release from the McDowell County Sheriff's Office.

On Aug. 19, 2020, detectives with the Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into the death of 85-year-old Carroll Franklin Eckard of Nebo.

Deputies had responded to a residence on Harmony Grove Road to find the homeowner, Eckard, dead. They were there to check his wellbeing at the request of a home health care worker.

His body was sent for autopsy, which revealed that he died of a gunshot wound.

On Aug. 28 of that year, detectives arrested Hensley and co-defendant, 49-year-old Shannon Welch Simonds, for murder. Simonds' case is still pending in McDowell County Superior Court.

According to a previous story, both Hensley and Simonds knew Eckard.

When contacted by The McDowell News on Monday, District Attorney Ted Bell declined to talk about the case further -- including a motive in the killing -- citing the pending court appearance by Simonds. She is charged with first-degree burglary and murder and set to appear on Dec. 12.

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