Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder of the mayor of a tiny North Carolina community and his wife.
The bodies of Leggett Mayor Gary Skelton and his wife, Jackie Skelton, were discovered Thursday after Jackie Skelton did not report to work, WRAL reported.
“We were able to solve this double-homicide in less than eight hours,” Edgecombe County Sheriff Cleveland “Clee” Atkinson said Friday, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The couple had been attacked in their home Wednesday night, WRAL reported, but authorities did not provide details about the attack or their investigation.
Two of the suspects were from Tarboro, a town about 7 miles from Leggett. The third was from Rocky Mount, about 15 miles from the murder scene.
Keith Earl Williams, 25, of Tarboro, was charged with first-degree murder. Williams had been released on parole from state prison on Aug. 28 where he was serving time after April 2017 convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon and assault with a deadly weapon, the Observer reported.
On Friday evening, police announced that Mitchell Brinson, 18, of Tarboro, was also charged with first-degree murder.
The third arrest was announced Saturday. Police charged Dakeithia Nesha Andrews, 30, of Rocky Mount, with conspiring to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, according to the Observer.
Check out CBS 17 coverage here:
“The terror that they had to have felt, going through what they were going through, it’s unimaginable,” said Leggett Town Commissioner Teresa Summerlin told WRAL.
“It is unimaginable what they came home to last night, that’s what sickens me to my core, how they must have felt. It sickens me and they were the epitome of good people, they were awesomely good people.”
“They would have given them the shirt off their back,” Summerlin said, according to WNCN. “For this to happen in this small a community. The work that man has done for this community. People just don’t realize he has invested so many man hours.”
Tonight the longtime pastor—pictured on the left—of the couple found dead in their home in Leggett is talking to #abc11 about the community sense of grief. Gary Skelton was the mayor of the small town. @EdgecombeCounty pic.twitter.com/aAy483d14g
— Josh Chapin (@JoshChapinABC11) September 8, 2018
Michael Cloer of Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, who was the Skeltons’ pastor, said the couple moved to Leggett, population 55, to enjoy the quiet life, WTVD reported.
“They came here because they wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle,” Cloer said. “They bought a big home, remodeled it, they loved to entertain guests, they were just outgoing, friendly, community people.”
He said Skelton enjoyed the community he led.
“All these years I’ve known Gary, he has never mentioned that he was the mayor of any town. That’s not how he is,” Cloer said.
“He lived in the country, he loved Leggett, he loved the people there, he loved the simplicity of life.
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