07/16/07 — Grand jury hands up indictment in shooting

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Grand jury hands up indictment in shooting

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on July 16, 2007 1:45 PM

A Dudley man faces charges in connection with the murder of a young woman in her Mount Olive home last April.

A Wayne County Grand Jury returned an indictment for first-degree murder July 2 against Jocquel Elliott Brown, 25, of Potts Road.

The charge stems from an allegation that Brown fatally wounded 22-year-old Vivian Denise Miles in her home in the 600 block of South Center Street April 28, 2006.

After the shooting, which occurred just before dawn, Miss Miles was driven by private vehicle to the Mount Olive Rescue Squad building. She was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital and later transferred to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, where she later died.

At the time of the shooting, Mount Olive police were investigating the case to determine if her bullet wound was self-inflicted or a homicide.

After investigating the case, police charged Brown with first-degree murder. His trial is set for July 19.

Senus Ray Lofton, 54, of Prayer House Lane, Dudley, also was indicted on one count of statutory rape.

Lofton is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl between Nov. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2005, according to the bill of indictment.

A person under 16 years of age cannot consent to a sex act with an adult under the eyes of the law.

Johnnie Rowe, 50, of Crawford Street, also was indicted for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and habitual felon for allegedly stabbing Lonzo Conner Jr., 33, of Slocumb Street.

Goldsboro police responded to Rowe's home Feb. 27 and found Conner suffering from multiple stab wounds.

Rowe, who has an extensive criminal record including assault on a law enforcement officer, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and escape, allegedly told officials that he assaulted Conner because he was trying to protect his home.

Conner has a history of bad checks, credit card fraud and theft, according to the North Carolina Department of Corrections Web site.

The grand jury also handed up 71 true bills of indictment during its monthly meeting. Jurors could not act on three bills.

Forty bills were returned on various drug charges and four people were indicted for breaking and entering.

Three people were indicted for embezzling from their employers and five people were indicted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.