Cherokee man sentenced in murder case

Joshua Daniel Calhoun, 22, of Cherokee, was sentenced Feb. 14 in Swain County Superior Court to a maximum of 38 years and five months in prison for his role in the 2013 murder of Calup “Joe” Caston.

He will serve at least 30 years before he is eligible for consideration for parole. Calhoun is the third of eight co-defendants sentenced to not less than 30 years nor more than 38 years five months in prison for this crime. Two of the ringleaders, Joshua Tyler Price and Marcos Cardonne, have previously been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The conviction is the second murder conviction to be recorded this week in Swain County. On Feb. 13, Nicholas Berlatsky, 35, was sentenced to a maximum of 22 years and 11 months in prison for the Nov. 30, 2012, murder and robbery of James Williams. 

“When I took office in January of 2015 there was a backlog of 14 pending murder cases in Swain County. That’s one murder case for every 1,000 residents,” said District Attorney Ashley Welch. “My office has worked hard since then and has resolved 10 of those cases … With every conviction we take a big step closer to restoring public confidence that Swain County is a beautiful and safe place to live and vacation.”

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