Sister of Hembree murder victim frustrated, thinks he may be sabotaging trial

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Danny Hembree is likely the most infamous murderer in Gaston County, convicted of the murders of Heather Catterton and Randi Saldona.

Saldona's conviction was reduced to second-degree murder after prosecutors said Hembree lied on the stand and, as a result, forced a mistrial.

Shellie Nations, Saldona’s sister, told Channel 9 reporter Ken Lemon that she was frustrated to hear that Hembree may be sabotaging the Catterton trial.

"It really sickens me,” Nations said. “It sickens me because we have went through this before."


Hembree was on death row for the Catterton murder, but the state Supreme Court overturned the conviction, despite him confessing on video three, explaining how he killed both women.

"We have this man on camera admitting to taking both lives. He admitted that,” Nations said. “Why are we even doing this?"

Nations said she was so afraid of Hembree that she moved her family out of the county even though he is serving life without parole.

"Out of fear that he is either going to walk free or break out,” Nations said.

Hembree asked the judge Tuesday to let him fire his attorney Ted Cummings.

Cummings represented J. Swanson.

Hembree said he and Swanson killed a woman in 1992. Charges against Swanson were dismissed in 2009.

"It is a bald-faced lie,” Swanson said.

The judge told Hembree today he would not release Cummings as his defense attorney.

So Hembree then decided to represent himself because he said Cummings sabotaged his case.

Cummings will represent Hembree during the retrial of the Heather Catterton murder in January of next year.

The trial has been moved to Catawba County.

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