37 years later, NC jury finds former small-town police chief guilty in Marine's shooting death

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina jury has convicted a former small-town police chief of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a Marine sergeant 37 years ago.

Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson said Wednesday that 57-year-old George Hayden was sentenced to life in prison in the 1972 slaying of Sgt. William Miller. Jurors deliberated for three days before returning a verdict.

Jurors had told Superior Court Judge Ken Crow that they were unable to reach a verdict. But Crow urged them to keep trying.

Prosecutors say Miller was killed in an ambush triggered by a love triangle involving his wife at the time.

The case remained unsolved until Miller's sister contacted a newspaper reporter looking into cold cases. Hudson said Miller's family has been waiting a long time for justice.