Wilmington woman pleads guilty to shooting, robbing 68-year-old man

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Stephanie Lynn Armstrong
Stephanie Lynn Armstrong

A Wilmington woman was sentenced to more than nine years in prison for a October 2015 home invasion and shooting that injured a 68-year-old man.

Stephanie Lynn Armstrong, 46, pleaded guilty Tuesday in New Hanover County Superior Court to charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, according to District Attorney Ben David.

Armstrong’s plea was made in connection with a shooting and robbery that happened in 4700 block of Ilex Drive in the Silver Lake area of New Hanover County on Oct. 5, 2015. She and a co-defendant in the case – 50-year-old George Winston Kirby III – reportedly went to the home of the 68-year-old victim at about 8 p.m., knocked on the door and shot the victim in the face.

“As [the victim] was preparing to let her in, her heard a loud noise and realized that he had been shot,” David said.

The bullet from the gunshot grazed the victim’s face. The suspects reportedly forced their way into the house after the shooting, tied up the victim with a telephone cord, and took the victim’s car keys along with other items from his wallet, David said.

New Hanover County detectives reportedly saw Armstrong and Kirby on local surveillance videos as the pair used the victim’s credit cards. Witnesses told investigators that the two, who were in a dating relationship at the time, had been “bragging about how they were responsible for the crime,” David said.

Kirby is still facing charges in the case. According to superior court records, he has been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflict serious injury, first-degree burglary, first-degree kidnapping, and felony conspiracy. He remains at the New Hanover County Jail under a $255,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear in New Hanover County Superior Court on April 11.

George Winston Kirby III
George Winston Kirby III

The case was investigated by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Armstrong was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Phyllis Gorham to 111-146 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections.

“We will continue to hold people responsible for criminal activity whether they are directly responsible or help facilitate the commission of the crime through offering aid and assistance,” David said.