05/18/05 — Murder suspect turns himself in

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Murder suspect turns himself in

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 18, 2005 1:45 PM

A man suspected in the Monday evening murder of a former Goldsboro resident surrendered to Mount Olive police Tuesday.

Bobby Leach, 33, of Williamson Street in Mount Olive, is accused in the shooting death of Russell Lee Nickelson, 32, whose body was found at the corner of Church and Kornegay streets, Mount Olive police said.

Bobby Leach


Nickelson lived in Goldsboro at one time and had served a six-month prison term after being convicted on felony drug charges in 1998 and another six months in 2000 on similar charges.

Leach has been charged with murder and is currently being held in the Wayne County Jail without bond.

Mount Olive Police Chief Emmett Ballree said Leach called the police department at about 5 p.m. Tuesday. Officers picked him up at a house in Mount Olive and carried him to the police station for questioning. Officers then served the warrant, took him to the magistrate's office in Goldsboro and put him in jail.

"He pretty much knew we were looking for him," Ballree said.

Ballree said investigators have no immediate evidence to suggest a motive for the murder. He added that witnesses said the two men argued early Monday, but did not know the cause of the clash.

Detectives also don't know yet if drugs were involved, Ballree said.

"It would be easier to put the pieces together if we did know whether drugs were involved," he said.

Ballree said Nickelson had been known to spend a lot of the time in Mount Olive.

"We don't know if he was the only one involved," Ballree said. "The investigation is continuing, and other charges may be forthcoming."

Nickelson's murder was the first to occur in Mount Olive since September 2003.