Matt Elofson-Staff writer
RAEFORD - Two Robeson County men have been charged with the murder of a Raeford woman who was shot to death during a home invasion
Kelvin Ray Smith, 23, and Tony Locklear, 37, were each charged over the weekend with the first-degree murder of 23-year-old April Michelle Pate. According to media reports, Smith lives on Pinetree Road in Lumberton and Locklear lives on Sylvia Lane in Rowland.
According to investigators, Pate was inside her 320 Hunter's Run residence in Raeford at about 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 15 watching TV with Smith when Locklear kicked in the front door and shot her in the abdomen with a handgun.
"We're considering this a home invasion," Chief of Deputies Troy McDuffie said. "She and the other man were watching TV when she stood up and was shot one time in the upper part of her body."
Smith called and reported the shooting to the authorities.
Investigators say robbery was the motive; an undetermined amount of cash was taken from Pate's home. Evidence shows that Smith and Locklear conspired together on the murder, according to investigators.
State Bureau of Investigation agents, Pembroke police and the Robeson County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation and arrest. Investigators said additional charges are pending against Smith and Locklear.