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Title: Dungeons & Dragons' Murder Mastermind Out of Prison

Source: Fox8 News, North Carolina

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Dungeons & Dragons' Murder Mastermind Out of Prison

FOX8 News

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) -- It was the story of 1988. A drug addict son caught up in the game Dungeons and Dragons masterminded the murder of his wealthy stepfather and attempted murder of his mother.

On Saturday, Chris Pritchard left prison a free man. Out on parole, he now lives at home and is ready to move on with his life.

"It took me years to get my head screwed on straight," he said. "I have done an appropriate amount of time. That's my view of it."

Pritchard said the 39-year-old man he is today is a much different from the 19-year-old who, along with two friends, hatched a plot to kill his stepdad and mom in an effort to inherit a $2 million estate.

"When you do wrong, you're supposed to be punished. That's the bottom line. That's how it works," he said.

After an argument with his stepdad, Pritchard, an N.C. State student at the time, conspired to murder his parents with two friends he met playing the fantasy game Dungeons and Dragons. The two friends, Neal Henderson and Bart Upchurch, agreed to help in exchange for money and sports cars.

"I'm going to be honest with you now. After I committed the crime and the reality of what I had done actually set in, because I was really, really living in a fantasy world," he said.

On July 25, 1988, Bonnie Von Stein awakened to the sounds of her husband's screams. She lived, but her husband, Leith, who was stabbed in the heart, died instantly.

"He would have turned 61 in March," reminisced Bonnie.

Bonnie has forgiven her son for his part in the crime. "I have visited with Chris for a long, long time in prison. I've watched him grow. I've watched him change," she said.

Now, with her son living back at home with her in Davidson County, Bonnie said she can move forward with her own life.

Chris plans to visit his stepfather's grave soon.

He has been working with at-risk youth for the past nine years, something he hopes to continue doing.

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