Morganton woman sentenced after robbing, beating man with hammer

A Morganton woman has been sentenced to serve an active prison term of 13 to 17 years after she and another person robbed and beat a man over the head with a hammer. 

The assault and robbery happened at a home on Pete Brittain Road on Dec. 16, 2016. 

The woman, identified as Patricia Wellborn Hunley, 58, was sentenced Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 after pleading guilty to attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and robbery with a dangerous weapon. 

Hunley and co-defendant, Stacy Heatley, were involved in an assault and robbery together. Hunley called the victim and requested help in moving from her mobile home. The two began assaulting the man with a hammer, knocking him unconscious. The man was then tied up and beaten in the head then robbed of $6,500 in cash and his pickup truck.

The victim had severe injuries and was transported by helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte where he was treated for multiple skull fractures and swelling on his brain. The injuries were described as life-threatening, and he was hospitalized for more than two weeks.

The victim’s truck was recovered in Marion, and the two suspects later were arrested at a Winston-Salem hotel after numerous people contacted law enforcement about their location.

Through interviews, it was discovered that Hunley had planned to lure the victim to her home in order for the assault and robbery to take place.

Heatley pleaded guilty to the same offenses in Burke County in March 2017 and was given an active prison term of 25 to 31 years. He also pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in McDowell County.

Hunley, also a co-defendant in the McDowell County cases, faces charges there as well.