FRANKLINTON—James Frank Earl, 45, was sentenced Monday (Nov. 30) as a multiple offender to 60 years in prison for manslaughter in the 2011 shooting death of a 45-year-old man. Earl has multiple prior felony convictions.
Assistant District Attorney Nick Noriea prosecuted the case before District Judge Martin Coady. A jury found Earl guilty on March 4 in the shooting death of Raymond Terry Lyons, 45. Earl was one of three defendants convicted in the Lyons’ death. Two other defendants—Donald Dawson, 29, of Franklinton, and Ricky Magee, 45, of Franklinton—pled guilty to manslaughter. Dawson was sentenced on May 1, 2013, to 10 years in prison, and Magee received 22 ½ years.
The murder took place on Jan. 6, 2011, after Dawson and a woman named Tess Starnes went to Magee’s house to buy drugs. Magee instructed them to follow him in their car. Dawson and Starnes followed a car, driven by Magee with Earl as the passenger. At Old Jenkins Road, Earl pulled headlight-to-headlight to a car waiting on the side of the road. At some point, Earl exited his vehicle and used a two-by-four to beat Lyons, who was a passenger in the waiting car, in the head. Earl then shot Lyons through the windshield in the chest.