• Bond lowered for man accused in gruesome Gastonia slaying

    By: Ken Lemon


    GASTONIA - A murder suspect has the chance to get out of jail after a judge lowered his bond Wednesday.
    Avery Lail is accused of killing Brian Jones and then dumping his body on Old Dowd Road in west Charlotte in March.

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    Eyewitness News reporter Ken Lemon spoke to the victim’s girlfriend, who’s upset by the judge’s decision.
    “Now AJ’s got a bond; that’s not right,” said Susan Braddy.
    Usually bond is only held in capital murder cases. Prosecutors announced they would not seek the death penalty for Brian Jones’ murder. They did not give a reason.
    “He should have got the death penalty. That’s what he gave Brian,” Braddy said.
    Braddy said she has been grieving constantly since Lail was arrested for Jones’ murder.
    “I have had a stroke since then,” Braddy said.
    Police said in March Brian and Lail, who were once friends, got into an argument outside of Lail’s girlfriend’s home near McAdenville. For the first time Wednesday, prosecutors revealed Lail beat Jones until he passed out and laid helplessly on the ground.
    “Then he retrieves a knife from the kitchen and comes back and slits his throat and stabs him numerous times,” said prosecutor Beth Stockwell.
    Police said Lail’s girlfriend Delia Risk washed his bloody clothes.
    Another friend and witness Mark Huntley helped dump the body on Old Dowd Road in Charlotte. It was found weeks later.

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    The prosecutor said after the murder Huntley and Lail took the car the victim was driving to South Carolina for a few days and pawned the tools inside.
    Braddy said police showed her security video of Lail in a store after the murder wearing the victim’s favorite hat.
    Lail’s girlfriend and Huntley are still in jail charged as accessories after the fact.
    “I think they deserve everything they can give him,” Braddy said.
    Braddy said she still needs to know what caused the argument that prosecutors said ended in murder.

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