Family struggling following man’s shooting death

By Annick Joseph - Staff writer

LUMBERTON — A local family is struggling with the violent death of a loved one.

Terry Leake, 48, of Lumberton, was shot and killed Wednesday during an argument at a home on the 2400 block of Balaam Drive near Hope Mills.

Cumberland County deputies found Leake in the front yard. He was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Leake’s parents, Willie and Louise Leake, got a call from their granddaughter and were told that their son had been shot.

“We are in shock,” Willie Leake said. “We still have not seen my son’s body.”

Leake’s family is left wondering what happened that night, but do not want to do anything that will jeopardize the investigation.

Kevin Delano McLean, 45, of the 1200 block of Chilton Drive, has been charged with second-degree murder, according to Lt. Sean Swain, Sheriff’s Office spokesman. Leake was married to McLean’s sister. Their argument grew out of a dispute between Leake’s daughter and McLean.

McLean left the scene, but was arrested about midnight Thursday, Swain said. Bail was set at $750,000.

Willie Leake said his son was married for about 29 years, and can’t recall any problems between the families.

Leresa Graham, Terry Leake’s married sister, said she was very close to her brother, even after she moved about 100 miles away they spoke often.

“I will miss him calling me for advice,” she said. “He was the life of the party; he talked to everyone.”

Timothy Graham, who is married to Leresa Graham, said he will also miss Terry Leake.

“He was a free spirit and was generous,” Timothy Graham said. “He always had a joke for me.”

Timothy said the family is putting their trust in the justice system.

“Even though justice is blind, hopefully it won’t turn a blind eye on this situation,” Timothy Graham said. “We are trusting in the legal system.”

Leresa Graham said she understands there may be a rift between families but said her family holds no ill will towards her in-laws.

“We want to put our differences aside and lay our brother to rest,” she said.

She wants everyone to know that her brother loved his wife, Leresa Graham said. Terry Leake drove daily to help his wife take care of his mother-in-law, who is suffering from dementia.

Terry Leake drove about 26 miles daily to his job at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, where he worked for about six years in the housekeeping department.

“He will be greatly missed in all aspects of our lives,” she said. “He had lots of nieces and nephews.”

Demetrius Simpson, who went to school with Terry from kindergarten through 12th grade, doesn’t understand how his friend could have been shot to death.

“I am in disbelief,” Simpson said. “Terry was someone who followed rules.”

A Facebook page group called Eighty-Eight was started in 2009 to keep the Lumberton High School graduating class of 1988 informed of class reunions. It has a fundraising drive to buy flowers for Leake’s funeral.

Simpson said he will miss his friend.

“We were tight,” he said. “Terry was jovial, nobody can say anything bad about Terry.”

A wake for Leake will be held Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Wiseman’s Funeral Home in Fayetteville. The funeral will be Friday at 1 p.m. Spring Hill Baptist Church in Fayetteville.

By Annick Joseph

Staff writer

Reach Annick Joseph by calling 910-816-1989 or via email at

Reach Annick Joseph by calling 910-816-1989 or via email at