Joey McGarry, age 45 was sentenced Thursday morning to serve a minimum of 22 years and a maximum of 27 years in the N.C. Department of Adult Corrections in Onslow County Superior Court for the August 2016 second-degree murder of his girlfriend Maria Snook on Dawson Cabin Rd. Snook was 33-years-old at the time of the fatal shooting.
McGarry shot Snook in a domestic dispute. At the time in 2016, both the defendant and the victim had multiple charges pending in court for misdemeanor drug related crimes.
McGarry was represented by long-time Defense Attorney, Walter Paramore of Jacksonville.
Assistant District Attorney Kelly Neal, State Prosecutor in the case said domestic relationships are now ending badly and are getting worse. “They’re ending stupidly as well,” Neal said.
Paramore told the court that McGarry has suffered with mental illness, attempts of self harm, extreme depression and he is not competent enough to go through a full trial due to substantial memory loss. McGarry physical issues along with mental illness, he has vision deterioration in his left eye as well as dealing with hypertension which is age appropriate for the defendant Paramore said.
Paramore said he suggests Joey, “get into the safest place to be evaluated.” He added that he believes based on expert investigative information that McGarry suffers memory loss from excessive alcohol abuse.
The biggest heartbreak is being away from family and also his son, his client Joey McGarry has had very little contact with family so there’s no support, Paramore said. McGarry’s son is about 10-years-old residing with his mother, McGarry’s ex-wife in Connecticut, Paramore said. “I respect his illness and understand he needs treatment, he has physical issues and needs help,” Paramore told the court. The defense attorney continued explanation that he was uncertain that Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center is equipped to handle the needs of his client in his condition.
Paramore said McGarry has a documented history of mental illness that goes back to when his client resided in Connecticut prior to the murder of Maria Snook.
The Honorable Judge Charles H. Henry ordered substance abuse counseling and treatment as a part of the sentencing as well as a full mental health evaluation and treatment. Additionally, Judge Henry ordered close observation of the defendant.
McGarry was given credit for time served in the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.
The defendant was sentenced on an Alford Plea which is a method often used in the state of N.C. in cases as this where the client acknowledges the evidence presented by the state is sufficient enough to support a conviction, yet the defendant has given no admission of guilt but agrees to be treated as guilty.