Garry Gupton (For Web)

Gupton

GREENSBORO — A North Carolina court has upheld a man's first-degree murder and arson convictions in the death of an Army veteran set on fire in a hotel room.

The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected arguments by Garry Joseph Gupton, now serving life in prison for Steven White's 2014 death. Gupton's lawyer failed to convince the three-judge panel that prosecutors lacked evidence to prove it was arson and that Gupton was sane when the crime occurred.

Court documents show Gupton and White met at a Greensboro gay bar and appeared intoxicated. Gupton testified he "started freaking out" and hallucinating after White became sexually aggressive at the hotel. Evidence shows Gupton struck and strangled White and lit the bed's comforter on fire before putting it on him. White died days later.

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