Crime

Nancy Austin of Lenoir gets life sentence for killing daughter’s boyfriend

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A 62-year-old Caldwell County woman stood over her daughter’s boyfriend as he lay on the ground begging for his life and then fatally shot him, prosecutors said.

A Superior Court jury on Friday found Nancy Benge Austin of Lenoir guilty of first-degree murder in the 2013 fatal shooting of 20-year-old Dylan Joseph Short.

Austin was sentenced to life in prison without parole by visiting Superior Court Judge Lisa Bell of Mecklenburg County.

After a two-week trial, the jury reached its verdict within 45 minutes, according to a news release from the Caldwell County District Attorney’s Office late Friday.

Jurors didn’t buy Austin’s claim that she was defending herself when she fired the Taurus .38-caliber revolver, hitting Short in the head, prosecutors said in the release.

“Austin was hovering over him, pulling the trigger once with no bullet in the chamber before stepping back and firing the deadly shot,” prosecutors said in the release.

Nancy Austin.jpg

Nancy Austin

Catawba County District Attorney’s Office

“Dylan didn’t have a choice or a chance,” assistant district attorney Jamie Adams told jurors before their deliberations, according to the release. “He’s on the ground. She stands over him and pulls the trigger. He heard a click, an empty chamber. That click is your premeditation, your deliberation. Your verdict is the voice and conscience of this community.”

Prosecutors told jurors how Short and Austin’s daughter, Sarah, “had happily been together the prior two days.” They related Austin’s inexplicable “anger and disdain for Short, the father of her grandson,“ according to the release.

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