GASTONIA, N.C. -- A Gaston County judge Friday afternoon sentenced Danny Hembree to death for the 2009 murder of 17-year-old Heather Catterton.

A jury last week convicted Hembree of first degree murder and after nine and a half hours of deliberations over two days that same jury came back with a recommendation that Hembree should get the death penalty.

Before the sentence was imposed by Judge Beverly Beal, Hembree spoke, saying he hoped this would bring closure for the Catterton family.

He then read the words from a song by Johnny Cash.

I've seen 'em come and I seen 'em die and long ago I stopped asking why, he read aloud.

After Hembree was led away, Catterton's father Nick held up a picture of his murdered daughter and said, This is what it is all about. He killed her and now he has to pay with his life.

Hembree's son, Danny Hembree lll, did not speak as he left the court along with Hembree's mother and sister.

I just feel relief. It doesn't bring Heather back but she took him down with her, said Stella Holland, Catterton's mother.

Hembree still faces charges of killing two other Gaston County women. No trial dates have yet been set.

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