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Pierce found guilty of Keisha Ward murder

     It took the jury just an hour Monday to find Derick Devon Pierce guilty in the New Year’s 2014 murder of Keisha April Ward in her Hallsboro home, and a host or related crimes.

     Pierce sentences include a mandatory life in prison on the first degree murder charge, Assistant District Attorney Heath Nance said.

     Jurors convicted Pierce for the murder of Keisha April Ward, who was then 31; and of attempting to kill Ward’s boyfriend, Johnny Lee Tyler, who is now 33.

     Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty. Life in prison is mandatory on the murder conviction, Nance said.

     Ward was a former Tabor City resident, her mother, Brenda Ward, known as a local convenience store manager.

     See more on this story in this week’s Tabor-Loris Tribune, in print and online.