Crime & Courts

Man accused of beating uncle to death with brick worked as substitute teacher

The man accused of beating his uncle to death with a brick before dousing him in gas worked as a substitute teacher, according to a Gaston County schools representative.

Orlando Neal, 55, was charged with murder and malicious use of explosives Thursday.

School officials say Neal worked as a noncertified substitute teacher since August 2007. He was no longer listed in the school system after the arrest.

Officials did not say for which schools or grades Neal substituted.

The incident happened on the 4700 block of Dawnalia Drive near West Boulevard just before 9:30 a.m.

Police identified as the victim as 77-year old Charles Lee Neal.

Neighbor Bruce Erwin told WBTV he was driving on his street when he saw two men running across his lawn.

One of the men was the victim’s nephew. The other was the victim’s friend.

Erwin said the friend was yelling.

“Call 911. Call 911. The man just hurt Mr. Neal,” Erwin said.

Erwin told WBTV he called 911 and held both men until police arrived. He said the victim’s nephew – Orlando Neal – wouldn’t stay still.

“He acted like he was kind of off a little, like he was a chicken, jumping around like he knew karate and everything,” Erwin said. “And I just grabbed him and threw him on the ground.”

On Friday, Orlando Neal appeared before a judge, who appointed a public defender for Neal.

Neal is being held on $500,000 bond for murder, and $50,000 bond for malicious use of explosives.

WBTV is a media partner of The Charlotte Observer