Ezra Harold Patton, 23, of Morganton, was given an active prison sentence of eight to 12 years following his conviction for multiple crimes during Burke County Superior Court on Monday, February 17, 2020.
The Honorable Steve Warren, Superior Court Judge from Buncombe County, imposed the prison term for Patton after he pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon,assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, attempted trafficking and two counts of assault by pointing a gun. A charge of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver marijuana from a separate incident also was consolidated into the judgment.
In addition, the defendant was given suspended sentences of 20 to 36 months for the assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury charge and 13 to 25 months for attempted trafficking of opiates with 36 months of supervised probation that will run at the conclusion of his active sentence if he violates the probationary terms.
Patton will spend his prison sentence in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
Patton’s co-defendant, Kristen Ellis, pleaded guilty to similar charges on January 6, 2020.
On May 17, 2019, Patton and Ellis traveled to a Morganton residence. Ellis went inside and met an occupant of the dwelling in his bedroom. A short time later, Ellis left the room, unlocked the front door of the home and allowed Patton – armed with a revolver – to enter the dwelling. The two defendants demanded that the victim give them his pain medication. When he refused, a struggle ensued that led to multiple shots being fired that struck the victim.
Ellis collected the medication, retrieved a shotgun from the room and struck the victim with it, breaking his jaw. The victim then took a knife and stabbed both defendants as they headed out of the residence.
Donny Dellinger was the lead investigator for the Morganton Department of Public Safety. Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lippert prosecuted the case for the State.
CONTACT: Nathan Key