Misdemeanor convictions for teen who killed friends in crash

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By Caroline Curran, Reporter

BOLIVIA—A Brunswick County jury has found Joseph Moreno guilty of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Moreno, 20, was facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter—both felonies—for the May 2009 deaths of two friends after the car he was driving lost control.

Last Friday, July 27, jurors found Moreno guilty of two misdemeanors in the deaths of 18-year-old Jacob Moseley and 17-year-old Caleb Hawkins.

Moreno, who was 17 at the time of the fatal wreck, was initially charged in June 2009 after being served with a warrant, which was taken out by North Carolina Highway Patrol. The fatal wreck occurred around 11:30 p.m. May 7, 2009, on Royal Oak Road near Shallotte.

According to Sgt. T.T. Daniels of the N.C. Highway Patrol, Moreno was driving east when he crossed the centerline, overcorrected and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle then hit a ditch and overturned several times.

Daniels said Moreno and front-seat passenger Dylan Bernier were both wearing seat belts. Moseley, Hawkins and Jessica Solomon were not wearing seat belts and were all ejected.

Moseley was killed at the scene, and Hawkins died the following week.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Lock suspended Moreno’s active prison sentence, and sentenced Moreno to 24 months probation and community service.

 Caroline Curran is a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at (910) 754-6890 or ccurran@brunswickbeacon.com