The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
Murphy, NC— Cherokee County Sheriff Keith Lovin announced that Zachary Heath Golden, an 18 year old Ranger, North Carolina man plead guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter in connection with the July 15th, 2012 death of Billy Ray Arp.
At about 12:43 p.m. on July 15, 2012, the Cherokee County Emergency Communications Center received a call for service at a home in the Ranger community of Cherokee County. The nature of the call was for a sick person.
When first responders and Cherokee County EMS personnel arrived at the Ranger Community residence they found 61 year old Billy Ray Arp in an apparent lifeless condition. Shortly after arrival on scene, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene as the nature of the death appeared suspicious. Investigators from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, along with a mobile crime scene team from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, began working together in the investigation. The cause and manner of death was later determined to be consistent with homicide.
Over the 10 month period following the reported death of Arp, numerous leads were followed and information was gathered which enabled investigators to obtain Second Degree Murder and Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon charges against Golden.
Judge Jeffrey Hunt sentenced Golden to 64 – 89 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.
Sheriff Lovin commended the cooperative effort displayed between personnel from his office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney’s Office , “many man hours were expended to help bring about resolve and closure.”
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