07/23/04 — Brother sues sister

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Brother sues sister

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on July 23, 2004 2:00 PM

A 19-year-old man is suing his 17-year-old sister for her share of an inheritance after she was convicted in Wayne County Juvenile Court of participating in their mother's murder.

Jacob Eugene Lofton, whose home address was listed as North Beston Road, LaGrange, filed the lawsuit against his sister, Princess Nicole Lofton of Prayer House Lane, Dudley; Mandy Lofton, the administrator of the mother's estate and Princess Lofton's guardian; and Liberty Life Insurance Co. of Greenville, S.C.

The lawsuit alleges that Princess Lofton, then 13, conspired with Antonio McKinney, then a 16-year-old neighbor, to let him in the home to rob her mother, Peggy Lofton.

Ms. Peggy Lofton, then 41, was fatally shot July 30, 1999, in her mobile home on Wise Drive near Dudley. Her 20-month-old daughter, Kelly Nicole, also was murdered at the same time.

Detectives had said the two teens had conspired to steal the mother's paycheck of less than $300.

McKinney was arrested later that day and charged with both murders. He was convicted by a Wayne County Superior Court jury of two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced Jan. 18, 2001, by Judge Jerry Braswell to two consecutive life terms.

Princess Lofton pleaded guilty March 19, 2001, in Juvenile Court to conspiracy to commit a first-degree burglary with intent to commit armed robbery and was sentenced to six months to four years in a juvenile detention center.

After the sentencing, District Attorney Branny Vickory said the girl showed "a complete lack of concern about her mother's death."

Both Lofton children had been named as beneficiaries to their mother's life insurance policies.

Because Princess Lofton was a minor at the time of her mother's death, the suit contends, she was not entitled to any money and the insurance company has withheld her portion. The Wayne County Clerk of Courts Office also is holding the proceeds from Peggy Lofton's estate.

Lawyer Glenn Barfield of Goldsboro contends that his client, Jacob Lofton, is entitled, as the sole lawful heir, to Princess Lofton's share of the insurance and estate proceeds and that she should be barred from receiving any funds.

Barfield also is asking that the court re-open Peggy Lofton's estate and order that Jacob Lofton be named administrator for the purpose of pursuing a wrongful death claim against his sister.

The defendants have not answered the lawsuit.