Murder charge reduced: Victim had been accused of sexually assaulting man’s wife
Published 9:36 am Thursday, February 10, 2022
By Beth Cassidy
A Mocksville man who has spent the last two years in jail after he was charged with murder was sentenced in Davie Superior Court last month.
Harley Harrison Gunter, 27, was arrested in September, 2019 and charged with first degree murder in the death of his father-in-law, Robert Szabocsan, 54. Szabocsan was found shot to death at a home off US 601 just south of Mocksville.
It was Gunter’s wife, Megan, who called police. Szabocsan was not her biological father and she had sought a no-contact order just months before he was killed, saying he had sexually assaulted her as a child. She also said he was “aggressive” and had hit her in the past.
Less than two weeks before Gunter shot Szabocsan, he filed for custody of the three children he and Megan had, because she had attempted suicide, had anger issues and was violent with him, often in front of the children.
Gunter’s charge was reduced to second degree murder and he was sentenced to 10 to 13 years in prison with credit for the two years and three months he spent in jail awaiting trial. He was ordered to submit a DNA sample and pay court costs.
Judge Joseph Crosswhite ordered that Gunter be placed in a facility to monitor his mental health and close enough that he can continue to have visits from his children.
A charge of first degree burglary was dismissed.