In July of this year, The Onslow Beat began covering the tragic and senseless murder of Mr. Elmer Hudler, a man well loved by his community and family in Murder Mayhem Series (Vol 1. No. 2).
On April 21, 2014, Elmer Lee Hudler was shot three times in the head with a .25 cal pistol, in his bed, in his home nearby Dixon High School in the Holly Ridge, NC area bordering Sneads Ferry. His son Josh Hudler hired William Zach Parker to kill his father for $250,000 in life insurance money where there was a deal for Josh to pay William (Zach) a weekly amount of $1,000 into an untraceable account to carry out this deadly plan. Parker was allegedly not aware that the target was Hudler’s father until nearing the scene of the home.
In an official press release from Distict Attorney Ernie Lee today,
Zachary Parker was sentenced today in Onslow Superior Court for his role in the murder of Elmer Hudler, age 60 that occurred on April 21, 2014, in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina. Parker pled guilty to the B1 felony of second-degree murder on November 29, 2016, and agreed to testify against Joshua Hudler, the son of Elmer Hudler.
On November 29, 2016, Joshua Hudler was charged with an open count of murder of Elmer Hudler. On October 3, 2018, Joshua Hudler entered a plea guilty in Onslow Superior Court to the B1 felony of second-degree murder of Elmer Hudler and he was sentenced to a minimum of 254 months and a maximum of 317 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction.
On October 23, 2018, Parker was sentenced to a minimum of 300 months and a maximum of 372 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction.
The State was represented by District Attorney Ernie Lee and Chief Assistant District
Attorney Michael Maultsby. Parker was represented by Edward G. Bailey of Jacksonville and William Gerrans of Kinston. The presiding judge was Judge Charles H. Henry of Onslow County.
The evidence showed that on April 21, 2014, Elmer Hudler was found unresponsive in his residence in Sneads Ferry. The autopsy showed that Hudler had been shot three times in the head with a .25 caliber pistol. The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office investigated this homicide.
On April 23, 20145, the spouse of Zachary Parker went to the Sheriff’s Office indicating Zachary Parker told her that he was involved in the homicide and that Joshua Hudler agreed to pay him to kill someone. Zachary Parker told her he shot the victim as Joshua Hudler was nearby inside the residence. On April 23, 2018, Zachary Parker was interviewed by the Sheriff’s Office and admitted that Joshua Hudler asked him to kill someone in exchange for money but he did not know who it was. It was not until they arrived at Elmer Hudler’s house that he realized Hudler wanted his father killed for his insurance proceeds. Zachary Parker told law enforcement that Josh threatened to harm him or his family if he did not do it. Zachary Parker admitted to shooting Elmer Hudler. Prior to shooting Hudler, both had used heroin. Zachary Parker said that after the shooting, he used five or six bags of heroin. Joshua Hudler denied to law enforcement his involvement in the homicide.
In order to obtain sufficient evidence against Joshua Hudler, the State made an agreement with Zachary Parker to testify against Joshua Hudler. Zachary Parker entered a plea of guilty to second-degree murder with an agreed upon sentence of a minimum of 300 months (25 years) and a maximum of 372 months (31 years) active time. As the shooter, the State advocated that he receive a substantial active sentence. The siblings of Elmer Hudler voiced their support for the guilty pleas of Zachary Parker and Joshua Hudler.
This was a senseless murder based in part on heroin addiction. Elmer Hudler had attempted to help his son with his addiction but Joshua was unable or unwilling to end his addiction. Eventually, Joshua Hudler’s addiction and desire for his father’s insurance proceeds led to the senseless murder of Elmer Hudler. As a result, several families have had to deal with this tragedy and crime.