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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Murder trial set for ’09 death that was a cold case for 5 years

Larry Gonzales
Larry Gonzales

A Texas man charged with the 2009 murder of a 20-year-old man will face trial next month.

Larry Karl Gonzales, 53, will face a first-degree murder charge in New Hanover County Superior Court at his trial, which is scheduled to begin on July 25, according to Samantha Dooies, assistant to District Attorney Ben David.

Gonzales was charged with the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Alton Corey Vann, whose body was found in the 5900 block of River Road on Jan. 29, 2009. Investigators with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office considered Vann’s death a cold case until Gonzales was arrested on Sept. 11, 2014 in Tomball, Texas.

In a press conference to announce the arrest in September 2014, District Attorney Ben David said he’d responded to the crime scene around 2 a.m., and working with the detectives his office “has never given up hope….We finally reached a point where we felt confident moving forward by putting this in the courts.”

Gonzales was later extradited from the Harris County Detention Center in Houston, Texas to New Hanover County.

District Attorney Ben David, left, and New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon, right, announced today that Larry Karl Gonzales was arrested last week in Texas and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Alton Corey Vann in January 2009. Photo by Christina Haley.
District Attorney Ben David, left, and New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon, right, announcing the arrest of Larry Karl Gonzales. Photo by Christina Haley.

Gonzales has six misdemeanor convictions for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud from 2003 and was sentenced to probation for the convictions, according to the N.C. Department of Corrections.

Assistant District Attorney Doug Carriker is prosecuting the case for the state. Attorney Lawrence Shotwell is representing Gonzales.

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