Man found guilty in 2020 murder of UNCW student

Man found guilty in 2020 murder of UNCW student
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 11:21 AM EST
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BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - A man charged in the 2020 murder of UNCW student Chris Stewart has been found guilty.

On Friday, a Pender County jury found Raymond Lee Brooks Jr. guilty of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Brooks was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus an additional 29-47 months in prison. The sentences will run concurrently,

“This is the only appropriate verdict and we thank the jury for its service. Mr. Brooks should never be released from prison for this heinous crime,” said District Attorney Ben David.

Stewart, a 23-year-old college junior and Army veteran, was found brutally murdered at Millers Pond Park in Pender County on March 27, 2020.

Arrest warrants obtained by WECT state a three-foot metal pole was used to rob Stewart of money, a cell phone and car keys.

Two other suspects also were arrested in the case - Myasia Morange and Brandon Chambers.

According to the District Attorney, Morange testified in Brooks’ trial and currently is in the Pender Co. Jail. Chambers is being housed in New Hanover Co. and still faces a capital murder trial.

The victim’s parents sent WECT the following statement:

“We are grateful that justice is being served for the brutal murder of our son. We said, knowing he can never do this to another family again gives us some peace. We are very appreciative of all that were involved in his case. We are appreciative of the community’s ongoing support over the past three years. A special thank you to his fraternity brothers at UNCW (Pikes) who have remained by our side throughout this tragedy. We want to bring awareness of the dangers of online dating apps. At a later date, we plan to begin some type of awareness program in hopes of preventing another tragedy such as what we have experienced.”