02/08/05 — Four men indicted on murder charges

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Four men indicted on murder charges

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on February 8, 2005 2:10 PM

Four men were indicted Monday by the Wayne County Grand Jury on first-degree murder charges, a former school teacher was indicted on Internet sex charges and a former magistrate was indicted on a cocaine possession charge.

Two men -- Christopher Lee Brown, 21, of Forest Knolls Road and Telly T. Cox, 23, of LaGrange Road, LaGrange -- were bound over on the first-degree murders of a young couple.

Brown and Cox were accused of fatally shooting Michael Shawn Maynard, 30, and Christie Nicole Jones, 25, of Rosewood on Jan. 1, 2004, in Maynard's home on Garrick Lane, as his then-7-year-old daughter watched from a closet.

Brown and Cox also were charged with one count each of attempted first-degree rape and armed robbery and two counts of first-degree kidnapping, one with firearm enhancement. Each has been held in the Wayne County without bond.

Sheriff Carey Winders said robbery was a motive in the shootings.

Miss Jones has been recovering from serious injuries suffered in a traffic crash about six months earlier.

The men's alleged accomplice, Alonza Sonye Bedell, 20, of Hunters Creek Drive, was indicted on five counts of being an accessory after the fact of a felony. She has been jailed in lieu of a $1 million secured bond.

The third murder defendant, a Spring Creek High School student, Donald Elbert Purnell, 17, of Rifle Range Road, was indicted for the fatal assault of 14-month-old Malachi Edmundson on Aug. 13.

The Goldsboro Rescue Squad and Elroy volunteer first-responders were dispatched to Purnell's home. The child was rushed by ambulance to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived. An autopsy showed that the toddler had died of injuries to his abdomen.

The child had been living with his father for about a week, detective said. The mother, Jameese Edmundson, lived elsewhere.

The fourth murder defendant, Leandren Andre Wilson, 28, North Kornegay Street, was indicted for the fatal shooting of Corey Lavon Grantham, 26, of Nor-Am Road, Pikeville, on July 11.

Grantham was shot before dawn, and his body was found near Corporate Drive and Clingman Street. Goldsboro police interviewed witnesses at a nearby night club, and with that information, they developed Wilson as a suspect.

Wilson was arrested three days later by a police detective in Benson. Wilson also was indicted as a habitual felon.

Ex-teacher indicted

A former Greenwood Middle School teacher, Hugh Galloway Pate Jr., 52, of N.C. 111 North, was bound over for trial in Wayne County Superior Court on a 48-count indictment.

Pate was charged by the State Bureau of Investigation with 24 counts each of second-degree exploitation of a minor and third-degree exploitation of a minor.

The indictment alleges that between Jan. 1 and Oct. 12, 2004, Pate distributed and possessed video images of girls, between 5 and 15, engaged in sex acts with men. The acts included intercourse, oral sex and masturbation. The images also included young girls exposing themselves and one young teen-aged boy having sex with a woman.

Former magistrate Gilbert Owens, 50, of Tarheel Drive, Mount Olive, was arrested Aug. 6 by Mount Olive police and charged with possession of cocaine. He was free on a $2,500 unsecured bond.

Owens had resigned his job June 30 -- 18 months into his first two-year term. Owens had been convicted of worthless-check, traffic and misdemeanor drug charges before his appointment as a magistrate.

Fraud charges

Another defendant, Loretha Mae King, 33, of Slaughter Street, was bound over to Wayne County Superior Court for trial on a 39-count indictment.

Ms. King, a former high school basketball star, was charged by Mount Olive police with 13 counts each of obtaining property by false pretense, forgery and uttering.

She had been convicted of numerous similar charges, including false pretense, financial identity fraud and a felony worthless check in 2004 in Goldsboro. She was sentenced to 30 to 36 months in prison.

Sex charges

A 40-year-old man from Goldsboro was indicted on five sex charges. Marvin Lamont Grantham of Stadium Drive was charged with two counts of a first-degree sex offense and one counts each of first-degree rape, indecent liberties and a lewd and lascivious act.

Grantham was arrested June 5 by Goldsboro police.

During its monthly session, the grand jury handed up 143 true bills of indictment, an unusually high number. The jurors could not act on 10 bills, because witnesses were not present.