Son charged in father’s death; shooter takes plea deal

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The son of a Sneads Ferry man who was killed in 2014 was arrested Tuesday and charged with the first-degree murder of his father.

William Parker, who lived in Onslow County,  admitted to fatally shooting Elmer Hudler in April 2014 while Elmer Hudler was sleeping; however, Parker said Elmer Hudler’s son, Josh Hudler, hired him to do so.

Parker testified against Josh Hudler in Onslow County Superior Court Tuesday and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Part of Parker’s plea deal included testifying against Josh Hudler.


Onslow County District Attorney Ernie Lee said William Parker claimed Josh Hudler threatened Parker’s family and offered to pay Parker for his help in the murder.

Ernest Hudler was shot in the head three times with a .25 caliber pistol registered to someone in Georgia.

The killing was an attempt to collect money from Elmer Hudler’s life insurance to pay for heroin, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said.

Hudler is being held in the Onslow County Detention Center under no bond. His first court appearance is set for Wednesday.

Both families declined to comment on the plea. The DA said he is unable to comment on the case until Josh Hudler’s trial ends.

Parker was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of 31 years in prison, including time already served.

Elmer Hudler was the owner of HRS Mechanical Contractors, a heating and air conditioning company in Sneads Ferry.


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