Bladen Murder Earns 40-50 Year Sentence

Keyonte Poole (BCSO)
Keyonte Poole (BCSO)

Keyonte Poole will spend the next 480 to 600 months – 40 to 50 years – in prison for the brutal murders of Robbie Hildreth and Sean Burke in Bladen County.

Poole pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree murder in Bladen County Superior Court today (Wednesday) in a hearing that lasted around an hour.

Keyonte Poole (BCSO)
Keyonte Poole (BCSO)

Chief Asst. District Attorney Allan Adams told the court that Poole and another woman lived with the two victims in a home on Cribb Road, off U.S. 701 South, in April 2021. Department of Social Services workers called 911 after they found Hildreth and Burke while on a followup visit for Hildreth’s stepdaughter, Nona Strickland.

Burke died of “blunt force trauma” and Hildreth was suffocated, according to testimony.

Poole and Strickland then took Hildreth’s vehicle and fled.

Investigators followed a trail of EBT card receipts to Richmond, Va., then back to North Carolina.

Bladen investigators and U.S. Marshals located the two suspects in Pink Hill, where Poole led officers on a high speed chase. The stolen vehicle went airborne and crashed on a Dodge pickup, setting the vehicle on fire. Poole was treated at the scene and hospital before being arrested.

Poole pleaded guilty in open court, in front of the victims’ families and investigators. Poole’s family asked the court that Poole be held responsible for her actions.

Superior Court Judge C. Ashley Gore passed sentence on Poole, who spoke of her “regret” for her actions.

 The State was represented by Adams. Major Morgan Johnson and Detective Donnie Williamson along with other members of the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office lead the investigation, with the assistance of the United States Marshal Service.

About Jefferson Weaver 2033 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].