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News Fouts dodges death penalty; will serve at least 30 years

Randall Boyd FoutsA resolution has been found in the murder case of Thomas Larry Ramsey. Last Wednesday, Sept. 28, Randall Boyd Fouts, 46, of Franklin pled guilty to second degree murder, first degree kidnapping, and first degree burglary.

On Aug. 12, 2010, the grisly murder scene on Johnson Road in the Cartoogechaye community was discovered by a concerned family member of Ramsey's. The camper in which Ramsey resided was found in a state of disarray with the door ajar, a broken window, and blood throughout.

Once investigators arrived at the scene, they found Ramsey, age 61 at the time of his murder, inside the camper, deceased. He had been wrapped in a blanket after being bound with electrical cords and beaten, likely with a bloody hammer that was found near the body. A television was also found on top of the body. The officers on the scene were initially unable to identify the body as a result of the crime.

The autopsy showed that Ramsey died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and strangulation.

A joint investigation began in August 2010 between the Macon County Sheriff's Department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Fouts was eventually arrested on May 24, 2011, and charged with first degree murder after the SBI lab analyzed evidence that was collected from the scene and placed his DNA inside the camper.

Fouts pled guilty to the lesser charges of second degree murder, first degree kidnapping, and first degree burglary after Assistant District Attorney Ashley Hornsby-Welch declared that the DA's office would seek the death penalty. As a result of the plea agreement, he will serve a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 39 years.

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