Orangeburg County man sentenced for murder of 34-year-old NC woman

Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 12:30 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 13, 2023 at 3:37 PM EST
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ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - A judge sentenced a 72-year-old Eutawville man in the 2019 strangling death of a North Carolina woman, prosecutors say.

Kenneth “K.C.” Henry Eastwood was convicted by a jury of the murder of Cara Hodges of Asheboro, North Carolina. Judge Maite Murphy sentenced Eastwood to life in prison for the crime.

The jury deliberated for just over an hour before finding Eastwood guilty of murder in Hodges’ death, First Assistant Solicitor Kelly LaPlante said.

“I would like to thank the jury for their service and this verdict that holds Mr. Eastwood accountable for his monstrous crime,” Deputy Solicitor Tommy Scott said. “While there were several delays that were out of our control in bringing this case to trial, we hope this verdict brings some closure to the victim’s family.”

Testimony and evidence presented during the trial indicated that Hodges came to Eutawville to visit her father and on the evening of Dec. 8, 2019, met Eastwood at the Fishtales Bar on Old Number Six Highway, and ultimately left with him, LaPlante said. Four days later, authorities found Hodges’ naked body in a wooded area on County Line Road.

A pathologist determined she had been strangled.

Orangeburg County investigators interviewed Eastwood the following day. Eastwood denied any knowledge about Hodges’ disappearance.

But investigators said Eastwood told a coworker the following morning that he had strangled her and left her body on the side of the road. That coworker notified law enforcement and Eastwood confessed to deputies and was arrested, LaPlante said.

Forensic evidence corroborated Eastwood’s confession, she said.