Accused robber, stepson charged in killing of 90-year-old man

Brian Thad Carver, 42, of Gastonia
Brian Thad Carver, 42, of Gastonia Gaston County Jail

Gaston County Police charged an accused robber and his stepson in connection with the death of a 90-year-old man whose body was found under a bridge.

One suspect in the killing of Ray Ronald Jackson was already in custody after being arrested Wednesday on accusations of robbing elderly people at gunpoint in two separate incidents this month. His stepson was arrested on Thursday night, Observer news partner WBTV reported.

Investigators said Jackson had been missing more than a week when a body was found Tuesday under a bridge on Landers Chapel Road.

The Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the body as Jackson on Wednesday. Jackson had developed memory loss after he underwent brain surgery several years ago, authorities said.

Brian Thad Carver, 42, of Gastonia, and Joshua Scott Rick, 22, of Kings Mountain, were charged with first-degree murder Thursday in Jackson’s death, police said.

Police previously accused Carver of robbing and hitting an elderly man in the 300 block of Rosewood Lane Extension at 8:55 p.m. March 7. According to officers, Carver asked the man for help and was allowed into his home. Carver then robbed the man at gunpoint.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Carver robbed and hit an elderly couple on Kiser Dairy Road, police said. He is accused of stealing the couple’s cash and a 2003 Dodge Dakota.

He was found Wednesday hiding in the shower of a room at the Red Carpet Inn in the 1700 block of Broadcast Street in Gastonia. He is jailed on $1 million bail, police said.

Carver also was charged with robbery, larceny, possession of a firearm by a felon, failure to appear in court and kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.

At about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, his stepson was jailed on a first-degree murder charge in the case, jail records show.