03/31/06 — Murder suspect finally captured in Maryland

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Murder suspect finally captured in Maryland

By Turner Walston
Published in News on March 31, 2006 1:49 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- A man sought for months in connection with the shooting death of a Goldsboro woman in June has been apprehended, Mount Olive police Chief Emmett Ballree said.

Richard Lee Swinson, 26, was arrested in Prince George's County, Md., on misdemeanor larceny charges, Ballree said. He will face murder charges as well as two counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling in Wayne County in connection with the death of Jennifer Louise McArthur, 22, of Goldsboro.

Swinson was arrested under an alias, Ballree said. When fingerprints were submitted, a match was made with the Mount Olive murder suspect. Prince George's County officials then contacted Mount Olive for verification.

Lt. Tommy Brown traveled to Maryland to interview and identify Swinson. Ballree said Swinson did not fight extradition, and will face charges in Wayne County. He added that he did not yet know exactly when Swinson would be extradited.

Ms. McArthur died as a result of gunshot wounds suffered around 2 a.m. on June 30. Ms. McArthur was visiting Mount Olive when shots came from outside an apartment on Daly Boulevard. She was rushed to Wayne Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

"We were pretty sure early on that the victim in this case was not the intended victim, basically an innocent bystander," Ballree said.

He said Swinson was identified as a suspect within 24 hours of the crime.

"He became one of our leading suspects, and we searched for him extensively for several weeks," Ballree said. "There was a couple times I think we were very close, within 5 or 10 minutes of getting our hands on him, but he always eluded us."

Until Ballree got the call that Swinson had been apprehended in Maryland, he said the investigation was at a standstill. "It had progressed as far as we could take it," he said. "We had exhausted all our leads."

In the meantime, Mount Olive police stayed in contact with Crime Stoppers and other agencies. "We were just kind of waiting for what happened to happen," Ballree said.

Then Swinson was arrested in Maryland. The fingerprints matched, and the call came.

"We're happy to know that he's incarcerated. This is something that we know had to be extremely stressful on the family of the victim," Ballree said. "It had to be a scary situation, and we hope that this would kind of help ease their minds a little bit, the fact that he has been apprehended."