A male juror told Eyewitness News it wasn't a difficult decision for him, and it didn't take long for all the jurors to agree on the death penalty for the 2009 murder of Heather Catterton.
After a judge read the sentence Friday, Hembree had a lot to say, shouting, "I love you" to his family. He also apologized to the family of 17-year-old Heather Catterton and asked to read the lyrics to a Johnny Cash song about prison. A portion of the lyrics said, "Prision, I hate every inch of you."
Outside the courtroom, the Gaston County District Attorney praised the jury's decision.
"The verdict said that [Catterton's] life had value," said Locke Bell.
Catterton's father breathed a sigh of relief.
"This is gonna bring closure," said Nick Catterton.
Hembree still faces murder charges in the deaths of two Gaston County women. The district attorney told Eyewitness News he will decide next week whether to try those cases as well.
Previous Stories: November 16, 2011: Accused serial killer could learn fate on Wednesday November 15, 2011: Hembree's ex-wife says he was addicted to drugs at 18 November 14, 2011: Jurors weigh death penalty for convicted killer November 10, 2011: Convicted killer asks for verdict to be dismissed November 9, 2011: Convicted killer enraged in court; Prosecutors seek death penalty November 8, 2011: Accused serial killer found guilty of first degree murder November 7, 2011: Closing arguments given in murder trial November 3, 2011: Jury visits home where man is accused of killing women November 2, 2011: Jurors to visit home where man is accused of killing women November 1, 2011: Defense wants jurors to see home where man is accused of killing women October 28, 2011: Gaston Co. murder suspect says he's mad at victim for dying October 27, 2011: Defense says murder suspect's confessions can't be trusted October 26, 2011: Accused serial killer explains killing in video October 26, 2011: Accused serial killer's lawyer says confession a lie October 25, 2011: Gaston Co. murder suspect said he killed 2 women because he 'just wanted to' October 18, 2011: Trial begins for Gaston Co. man accused in 3 deaths