Published in News on November 16, 2004 2:00 PM
Man gets life
for killing grandmother
KENANSVILLE -- A 30-year-old man was sentenced Monday in Duplin County Superior Court to life in prison after pleading guilty to the stabbing death of his grandmother.
James Christopher Miller was charged with the first-degree murder of Evalyn M. Joyner, 77, on Nov. 6, 2003.
District Attorney G. Dewey Hudson said he did not pursue the death penalty after consulting with Mrs. Joyner's family. He said he made the decision after considering the concerns of the victim's family and Miller's lack of a serious criminal record.
An investigation of the death began with a call to Wallace police about a possible death in the Glendale Apartments. Officers found Mrs. Joyner in a recliner. She had been stabbed numerous times and her throat had been cut. Her purse also had been opened.
Wallace Police Chief Bobby Maready said Mrs. Joyner had charged Miller with stealing money from her purse a few months earlier.
Maready said Miller admitted he had gone to Mrs. Joyner's home to borrow $5 and had killed her.
Fire started in cart
A fire that damaged two rooms at the Best Western Goldsboro Inn at 801 E. Dr. M.L. King Jr. Expressway started Monday in a maid's cart, a Goldsboro fire official said today.
Assistant Fire Chief Gary Whaley said another employee saw the fire at about 10:25 a.m. and called 911.
The cart contained cleaning supplies, bed linens, toiletries and matches, a Goldsboro police report said.
"Most of the main fire was located outside of the rooms," Whaley said, "but because of the spread of heat and flames, the interiors of two rooms were damaged."
Damage was estimated at $15,000 to the building and $5,000 to contents, Whaley said. The hotel complex, valued at $3 million, is owned by McPeake Hotels of Southern Pines.
Sixteen firefighters responded with three engines, a ladder and a command car to the hotel on the U.S. 70 bypass. They needed about an hour to put out the fire, investigate the cause and finish salvage work.
"A quick knockdown saved us from a long day and prevented further damage," Whaley said. "They did an outstanding job."
A further inquiry into the fire was referred to police Investigator Neil Lynch.
A Goldsboro man was robbed before dawn today during a card game, and another man was robbed Monday night while entering a tavern, according to Goldsboro police reports.
Alonzo Miller, 43, of Goldsboro told police that while he was playing cards at about 4:30 a.m. at a home in the 600 block of Whitted Court, a man pointed a handgun at him and fired a shot into the floor. Miller said the man took $4,000.
The other man, John Oscar Mumford, 25, said Miller had assaulted him, and he had fired in self-defense. No charges have been filed.
Richard Hancock, 46, of Goldsboro told police that he had left Allen's Tavern at 2212 N. William St. at about 9:35 p.m. and was about to enter M&M, a tavern at 2304 N. William St. When he knocked on the door, two people grabbed him, threw him on the ground, punched him in the head and stole his wallet with $100, the report said.
The suspects were described as a Hispanic man and a white man, both in their 30s. One was about 5-feet-10 and 200 pounds with long hair.
Wayne County sheriff's deputies are investigating these reports:
*A DVD player, a video cassette recorder, a monitor, a laminator and two remote controls were stolen Monday after a door was forced open in a home in the 1600 block of Camp Jubilee Road. The resident, Gary Lynn King, put a $278 value on the stolen property.
*Three gas heaters and three ceiling fans have been stolen after a door glass was smashed at a home in the 400 block of Parkstown Road. The owner, Roy Gray of LaGrange, estimated the value of the stolen property at $1,050.
*A green Kawasaki dirt bike was stolen before dawn today from a yard in the 200 block of Genoa Lane. Trondell Smith said his bike was worth $1,000.
Goldsboro police are investigating these reports:
*About $889 worth of entertainment equipment was stolen Monday after a door glass was smashed at a home in the 800 block of Aycock Street. The resident, Mitchell Daniels, reported the theft of video-game equipment, eight movie videos, a compact disc player, two microphones and a karaoke machine.
*An electric heater was stolen after a window was shattered at a home in the 600 block of Simmons Street. The resident, Lilian Carlton, said the heater was worth $100.
Three people were arrested Monday by Goldsboro police and charged with two felony offenses in connection with a residential break-in.
Aaron Whitehead, 20, and Therian Whitehead, 16, both of Courtyard Circle, and Bashir Elijah Baker, 16, of Hugh Street were charged with breaking and entering and larceny. Each was placed in the Wayne County Jail in lieu of a $20,000 secured bond.
They were accused of breaking into a home Aug. 18 in the 900 block of Evergreen Avenue and stealing property, Investigator W.P. VanWijk said.
A 53-year-old Goldsboro man came home Monday, then allegedly argued with and assaulted his wife, a Goldsboro police report said. The woman called police and said she saw a large bag with marijuana. The man then fled.
Goldsboro police later charged Shelly Bernard Ford Jr. of Glenwood Trail with felony possession with intent to sell marijuana. He also was charged with assault on a female and resisting arrest. Ford was placed in the Wayne County Jail in lieu of a $5,000 secured bond.
A 28-year-old Goldsboro woman has been reported missing to Goldsboro police. Christine Joy Holton of 102 Hines Drive was described as white, 5-feet-2 and 120 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
When she was seen last at 2:20 a.m. Sunday, she was wearing a green shirt, black dress pants, a black suede coat, black shoes and silver earrings. Anyone with information on her location was asked to call police at 705-6527.
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