Claremont Man Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Tony Marshall Shook, 60, of Claremont, will serve an active prison sentence of 20 to 25 years following his conviction for second-degree murder during Catawba County Superior Court on Thursday, October 6, 2022.

The Honorable Julia Lynn Gullett, Superior Court Judge from Iredell County, imposed the terms of the plea arrangement after Shook entered his guilty plea in connection with the October 19, 2020, shooting death of Samuel Hernandez-Loza.

The defendant will serve his period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

“We commend the work of our investigative team and our District Attorney’s Office in bringing this case to a resolution,” Catawba County Sheriff Don Brown said. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Hernandez-Loza family and with everyone affected by this loss of life.”

On the date of the fatal shooting, Shook and a female co-defendant went to the residence of Hernandez-Loza and confronted him about the exchange of fake drugs. Shook pointed a .40-caliber weapon at the victim and demanded money before shooting him in the chest.

He and the woman left the residence after taking a small amount of money and some Xanax bars from the victim. They hid their scooter and some clothing before returning to Shook’s residence. Shook later sold the gun used in the shooting.

Hernandez-Loza’s girlfriend was at the residence and contacted law enforcement about the shooting to begin the investigation. The co-defendant and others were interviewed about the incident and their information led to Shook as the suspect in the fatal shooting.

The case was investigated by Bart Lowdermilk of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Melanie Earles handled prosecution for the State.