North Carolina

Update: Third person arrested in NC mayor, wife double homicide case, officials say

A male victim was fatally shot in the neck outside of an apartment complex in west Charlotte Monday night.
A male victim was fatally shot in the neck outside of an apartment complex in west Charlotte Monday night. File Photo

A third person has been arrested in connection with the murders of an Edgecombe County mayor and his wife, officials said Saturday.

Though the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office did not initially release the victims’ names, a commissioner in the town of Leggett identified the couple as Leggett Mayor Gary Skelton and his wife, Jackie Skelton, in an interview with The Charlotte Observer.

“I can’t say enough good about them,” Commissioner Teresa Summerlin told The Charlotte Observer. “They were the epitome of good people. ... It’s devastating.

Keith Earl Williams, 25, of Tarboro, has been charged with first-degree murder in the case, Edgecombe County Sheriff Cleveland “Clee” Atkinson said during a press conference Friday morning.

Atkinson in the press conference said another person of interest was arrested on unrelated charges. In a Friday evening press release, detectives announced they had also charged 18-year-old Mitchell Brinson, of Tarboro, with first-degree murder.

On Saturday, detectives arrested a third person, Dakeithia Nesha Andrews, 30, of Rocky Mount, for conspiring to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the incident, the sheriff’s office said.

Criminal records show Williams was released on parole from state prison on Aug. 28, a little more than a week before the deaths were discovered.

Williams had been serving consecutive sentences for April 2017 convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon and assault with a deadly weapon, the records show. In March 2013, he was convicted of felony larceny and put on probation, according to the records. His probation was revoked in 2014 because of other offenses, and he went to prison.

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Deputies found the couple after responding to a welfare check Thursday at 7218 N.C. 33 in Tarboro, near the Leggett community, Atkinson said.

“A missing person report was generated and deputies and detectives began investigating,” Atkinson said. “We were able to solve this double homicide in less than eight hours.”

The Tarboro and Rocky Mount police departments, Nash County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. Highway Patrol and wildlife officials have assisted in the investigation, which remains ongoing, Atkinson said.

Lana Sue Clayton was charged last week with murdering her husband Steven Clayton, after she was found in an attempted suicide at their Lake Wylie home on Aug. 30, police said. Clayton confessed to killing her husband with a chemical from eye drops.

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