05/05/04 — Jury charges man with murder during store break-in

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Jury charges man with murder during store break-in

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on May 5, 2004 2:12 PM

A man who shot a merchant's son-in-law during a holdup and then was detained by the victim's relatives has been indicted on charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

Roy George Legg, who had no permanent address but lived in Wayne County, was accused of breaking into a grocery store near Seven Springs early last May 24 and killing Ricky Avon Thompson during a gun battle.

The 56-year-old Legg also was indicted by the Wayne County Grand Jury on charges of armed robbery, preparation to commit burglary, breaking and entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods.

The District Attorney's Office has not said if it will seek the death penalty against Legg.

Legg was charged with breaking into Ralph Casey's Grocery store on N.C. 55 just east of Seven Springs. The owners, whose home was near the store, heard someone inside, notified Thompson, and called authorities.

The 43-year-old Thompson lived on Indian Springs Road a few miles away. He entered the store at about 4 a.m. and confronted an intruder. The pair exchanged gunshots, and both were hit. Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Thompson's wife, Teresa, said that as the intruder fled he continued to shoot at her and her adult daughter, who were outside the store. Mrs. Thompson then drove a car through a wooden fence and knocked down the fleeing man. The family managed to detain him until deputies arrived.

Legg was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital, stabilized, then transferred to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, treated and released to a state prison, where he has been held without bond.

Thompson had been a volunteer Seven Springs firefighter, working as a mechanic to keep the trucks running.

Legg had been in the store a few days earlier, according to reports, and the owner, Ralph Casey, had given him about $9 worth of food.

The indictment was one of 88 handed up during the grand jury's monthly meeting. Thirty-nine defendants were indicted on drug charges.

Thirteen people were indicted for such property charges as burglary, breaking and entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods. Seven more were indicted for such fraud charges as forgery, uttering, embezzlement and larceny by an employee.

The grand jury also handed up four indictments for weapons offenses, two each for robbery, traffic and animal cruelty charges, and one each for kidnapping and child abuse charges.

Eight people were indicted as habitual felons. If they are convicted of a fourth, non-overlapping offense, then they would face a significantly longer prison sentence.

Several people were indicted in crimes in more than one category.