Haqq found guilty of second-degree murder

Staff Writer

Kevin Jamal Haqq, 38, of Newton, will spend 38 years in prison after a Catawba County jury found him guilty of second-degree murder on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

Haqq was found guilty of the July 24, 2014, stabbing death of 20-year-old Jason William Margarita of Sherrills Ford at a Balls Creek residence.

Following the jury’s verdict, the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, gave Haqq an active prison term of 38 to 46 years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

After closing remarks by Prosecutor Sean McGinnis and Defense Attorney Ken Darty, the jury deliberated for about three hours Wednesday before rendering its verdict around 6:30 p.m. to bring the trial to an end after eight days.

Chris Branch led the investigation for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. McGinnis and Chad Smith prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.