Jury convicts Gastonia man of murdering friend in 2020 shooting

A man has been convicted of murdering his friend in Gastonia back in 2020.

The decision came down from the jury on Thursday night. Justin Bess was found guilty of felony murder and felony firearm by a felon.


During the trial, the state said Justin Bess ambushed his friend, Jaqualus Glover, back in March 2020. Bess took the stand on Wednesday and said he made an awful mistake. He told jurors he grew up with Jaqualus Glover, who he’d met in middle school.

He said days before the shooting, he found a video from a break-in at his home. Bess said he was convinced that his best friend was there, so police said Bess called Glover with a plan to shoot him.

Bess said they talked to clear the air. He told jurors the conversation got heated and he thought he could see a gun in Glover’s pocket, so he fired his gun.

“When I seen his head hit the ground and he stopped moving, I stopped shooting,” he said.

He said when he realized there was no gun, he was overwhelmed with regret.

The jury deliberated on Thursday into the evening and came back with the guilty verdict for Justin Bess. He was also sentenced to life in prison for the crime.

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