LUMBERTON — Four people are being held at undisclosed jails after being charged with conspiring to kill a Robeson County prosecutor and a federal agent.
Mencius Nico Locklear, Nicholas Chad Blackhorse, Krystal Michelle Carter and Kenan Reese Frizzell have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and are each being held on $1 million bonds at unknown detention centers in North Carolina. Frizzell has also been charged with possession of a stolen firearm and Carter has also been charged with solicitation to commit murder.
The group, according to Erich Hackney, investigator with the Robeson County District Attorney’s Office, plotted to kill Assistant District Attorney Matthew Scott and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agent Mark Oxendine.
“This has been an exhaustive, non-stop and cooperative investigation by all agencies involved,” said Hackney. “The investigation continues with additional arrests forthcoming.”
In March 2016, Justin Blake Strickland and his stepson, Kenan Frizzell, both of Maxton, were among several people arrested and charged with numerous drug and firearms offenses by the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation.
Scott was assigned as prosecutor for that case.
Strickland, while incarcerated at Robeson County Detention Center, communicated threats with his mother, Michelle Frizzell, against Scott, according to Hackney. These threats were investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation and the ATF. As a result, Strickland’s threats intensified, at which time the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office joined the investigation, Hackney said.
Information provided to the District Attorney’s Office revealed more detailed and specific threats of bodily harm and death to both Scott and Oxendine. These threats involved the identities of several co-conspirators and made mention of a specific firearm, according to Hackney. Strickland’s threats focused on Oxendine after he interviewed Strickland’s mother, Hackney said.
Investigators armed with a warrant searched Strickland’s residence on Friday, during which numerous weapons were seized, including the firearm described in the investigation, according to Hackney.
That evening, Blackhorse was charged and Strickland was moved out of Robeson County Detention Center for safe keeping. Locklear and Kenan Frizzell were charged on Monday; Carter was arrested and charged today.
“It is something that we take very seriously. Any kind of threat against anyone here,” said District Attorney Johnson Britt. “That is one of the reasons we have the extra security we have at our location.”
Additional security, in the form of Robeson County Sheriff’s Office deputies, has been provided Scott and Oxendine, according to Britt.
Michelle Frizzell is the former director of the county Planning Department. She has not been charged with a crime.
Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly