Catawba man pleads guilty in woman’s 2012 death

NEWTON, N.C. (AP) — A Catawba man has pleaded guilty to charges in the death of 22-year-old woman whose remains were found inside a burning vehicle four years ago.

News organizations report 36-year-old Jermaine Wilkes pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder and other charges in the death of Brianne Mary Ginty. A Catawba County Superior Court judge sentenced Wilkes to serve 20 to 26 years in prison.

Crews responding to a vehicle fire in June 7, 2012, found remains, later identified through DNA samples as Ginty’s.

Prosecutors say Wilkes at first denied wrongdoing, but later admitted that he had moved Ginty’s body to the wooded area and burned it following an altercation, during which she fell and hit her head when he struck her.

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