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‘Can Man’ killer sentenced to life in prison for fatal brick beating

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DINWIDDIE COUNTY. Va. — The man who beat Carter “Can Man” Northington to death with a brick was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 25 years. Michael Edward Elmore was convicted of Northington’s murder in October.

Michael Edward Elmore

Michael Edward Elmore

“In imposing the maximum punishment for the murder, the Court noted that Northington was ‘harmless,’ had done nothing wrong, and died at Elmore’s hands ‘for no reason,'” Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill wrote in an email. “The cause of Northington’s death was a severe blow to his head, dealt with a force equivalent to a fall from sixteen stories; the murder weapon was a brick on which investigators found DNA consistent with that of Elmore.”

It was on September 2, 2013 that Elmore used a brick to beat and rob Northington. Northington’s body was found along the 23000 block of Cox Road in the Edge Hill area of Dinwiddie.

Can Man

“Law enforcement and community residents found various possessions of Northington strewn around the area, including the gripper tool that Northington often used to retrieve scraps for recycling, earning his affectionate ‘Can Man’ moniker,” Baskervill said. “Video footage from Westgate Shopping Center businesses showed Northington with the defendant Elmore earlier in the day. When sheriff’s investigators interviewed Elmore, he offered eight different explanations for his whereabouts and what happened – including an attempt to blame unnamed and unknown ‘black males.'”

Eventually Elmore said he pushed Northington down to get his wallet, which was empty. Prosecutors were able to prove Elmore did much more than that, Baskervill said.

“I offer my highest praise and sincerest gratitude for the inspiring support of the community and especially for the outstanding investigative work of the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office,” Baskervill said. “The Sheriff and his investigative team did excellent and tireless work to promote public safety and honor Mr. Northington’s memory.”