JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — A man has been sentenced to between 20 and 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in a 38-year-old North Carolina homicide.

Local news outlets report 58-year-old Roger Gene Pollard of Chesapeake, Virginia, was arrested in 2016 after detectives in Onslow County had gathered enough evidence to file charges.

Pollard pleaded guilty on Aug. 11 to charges connected to the April 1979 death of Karen Johnson. His sentencing was delayed to allow members of Johnson’s family to attend.

Prosecutors said Pollard knew Johnson’s husband was away with the Marines and went to her home. The young woman was found the next day lying on her bed, severely beaten and bloody. The cause of death was listed as strangulation.

Pollard was sentenced under guidelines applicable in 1979.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.