Crime

Man sentenced to prison for stabbing his girlfriend two dozen times, killing her

Man pleads guilty to murdering a girlfriend in Horry County

A man pleaded guilty to murder for stabbing his girlfriend in Horry County to death 26 times in June 2018. A South Carolina judge sentenced Harley Gray to 30 years in prison during a Monday court hearing.
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A man pleaded guilty to murder for stabbing his girlfriend in Horry County to death 26 times in June 2018. A South Carolina judge sentenced Harley Gray to 30 years in prison during a Monday court hearing.

A West Virginia man told police in 2018 he woke up next to his dead girlfriend — on Monday, he admitted to stabbing her 24 times leading to her death.

“I just plead mercy,” Harley Gray told a Horry County judge, who sentenced him to 30 years in prison after Gray pleaded guilty to murder.

In June 2018, Gray called police at 5 a.m. and said he wanted to turn himself in, assistant solicitor Thomas Terrell said. Gray told the officers that he and his girlfriend, Lindsey Stegner, took drugs and he “freaked out,” Terrell said. The murder happened on Pleasantdale Road in the Green Sea area.

“She was stabbed 24 times in the upper chest and arm area,” Terrell said.

Defense Attorney James Stanko said Gray started to remember details of the crime and that is why he wanted to plead guilty. Stanko added the case has also ruined Gray’s life and impacted his family.

Shandra Wentz, who was Stegner’s cousin, said the two grew up like sisters. She said Stegner had issues, but didn’t deserve to be murdered.

“Regardless of her troubles, nobody expects to die being stabbed 24 times,” Wentz said.

Stegner’s daughter was 4 year olds at the time of the killing, and she is going to have to grow up without her mother, Wentz said.

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Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.
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