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Defendant in death penalty case strikes deal before trial

FLORENCE (AP) — A Darlington man accused of ordering the deaths of two people in 2009 in Florence County has been sentenced to life in prison.

Fonnelze Delaine was sentenced Tuesday, a day after he pleaded guilty to two counts of accessory before the fact of murder.

Delaine entered a guilty plea as jury selection began in his death penalty trial in the killings of 26-year-old Billy Hall and 32-year-old Talya Poston. Prosecutors say the 30-year-old Delaine ordered the couple killed because they were going to testify against him in an upcoming drug trial.

In May, the man who actually shot the couple was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder. Two other defendants have also pleaded guilty for their involvement.

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