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Shipman Gets Life Plus for Murder

Africa Zachariah Shipman will spend the rest of his life in prison for the first degree murder of a Buckhead man in 2016.

A Bladen County jury took less than an hour to convict Shipman on Friday. The trial lasted four weeks, according to the district attorney’s office.

Shipman was convicted of first degree murder and attempted robbery. He was sentenced to life without parole, plus 11.5 to 17.75 years.

On Oct. 16, 2016, District Attorney Jon David said, Shipman and three other suspects plotted to rob Donwia Wayne Griffith at his home in Buckhead, near the Columbus-Bladen line. Shipman broke into the house shortly after Griffith and his family – including two women and three small children – returned from their grandmother’s wake.

Griffith was pistol whipped and shot three times, including one wound to the spine that would have left Griffith crippled if he had survived. Shipman fled to Las Vegas after the killing.

The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office lead the investigation, David said. Investigator Rodney Warwick and other Bladen detectives seized and processed Shipman’s bloody car the day after the murder.

Assisting agencies Law Enforcement agencies including the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, NC Department of Public Safety Parole Division, and the ROCIC from Tennessee assisted in the investigation. Shipman was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Las Vegas.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Allan R. Adams, Assistant District Attorney Sarah Adams, along with the assistance of Victim Witness Legal Assistant Kayla Wright.

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