Two charged in separate murders

By: Annick Joseph - Beth Lawrence - Staff writers

LUMBERTON — Two people have been charged in unrelated murders this weekend that left two people dead and one person badly injured.

A Whiteville man’s own words led to him being charged with the murder of a Lumberton woman, and a Maxton man is charged with a murder in Scotland County.

Willie Davis, 44, of Whiteville, is in the Robeson County jail without bond after begin charged Sunday with first-degree murder for the death of Katonya Charles, 38, of Lumberton.

The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office received a call about 5:44 a.m. Sunday from Whiteville Police Department about a woman who might be hurt, Maj. Anthony Thompson, of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, said Monday. The call was made after Davis, who was being detained at an undisclosed hospital on outstanding warrants, told Whiteville police Cpl. Jose Garcia that he “beat his girlfriend” and believed he “hurt her,” according to Thompson.

Robeson County sheriff’s deputies were sent to perform a wellness check on Charles, Thompson said. Knocks on the door of Charles’ residence on Cunningham Circle were not answered.

Robeson County Housing Authority personnel were contacted to help the deputies gain entry to Charles’ residence, Thompson said. Deputies found Charles’ body on the floor after they entered the residence.

The exact cause of death is unknown. Investigators are waiting for the results of an autopsy.

The Robesonian is working to get information on why Davis was being detained by Whiteville police.

In an unrelated case, Samuel Dewayne Smith, 42, of Maxton, was arrested for murder and attempted murder, according to Detective Sgt. Jessica Sadovnikov of the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office. The shooting took place between 2 and 2:30 a.m. Friday behind the Scotland County Landfill on Patterson Road near Old Maxton Road in the roadway.

“I arrested him with the assistance of Maxton Police Department, Robeson County Sheriff’s Department the U.S. Marshals on Friday the 31st sometime around 4:30 p.m. from his mother’s residence located at South Florence Street in Maxton,” Sadovnikov said.

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office has not released the identity of the dead person pending notification of the family, but The Robesonian has learned he lived in Robeson County.

Lloyd Jackson, 43, of Stewartsville Cemetery Road, was airlifted to an undisclosed hospital in critical condition. Jackson was listed in stable condition Monday afternoon.

“He is expected to completely recover, but I do believe that he’ll be in the hospital for a bit more time,” Sadovnikov said.

Smith and Jackson had been in an ongoing dispute over a woman, according to Sadovnikov. Detectives have not determined whether or not the men had agreed to meet at that location or whether or not there was an argument immediately before the shooting.

“At this particular point in time we know that our victims were enjoying their evening driving around, at some point pulled off on the side of the road for an unknown reason and were then shot,” Sadovnikov said.

The investigation continues.

Smith is being held at the Scotland County Detention Center without bond. His first court appearance is today at 9 a.m.

Smith’s records show that he was given a suspended sentence probation for assault with a deadly weapon in 1998 and again in 2008 for assault on a female and communicating threats.

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Annick Joseph

Beth Lawrence

Staff writers

Annick Joseph can be reached at [email protected] and Beth Lawrence can be reached at [email protected]

Annick Joseph can be reached at [email protected] and Beth Lawrence can be reached at [email protected]