10/18/08 — Man kills girlfriend, himself

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Man kills girlfriend, himself

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on October 18, 2008 11:58 PM

ROSEWOOD -- A man killed his girlfriend, then himself, around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, following a string of arguments between the two at her Old Smithfield Road home, authorities said.

And in another incident, a man was in critical condition Saturday after being shot five times.

Thurman Joseph Bradford Jr., 58, shot Barbara Baker Pitts, 51, then himself with the same weapon in an apparent murder-suicide, according to the Sheriff's Office.

A relative of Barbara Pitts called the Sheriff's Office because the woman had not shown up for her job in Smithfield, according to a news release.

That led deputies to check on the welfare of Ms. Pitts. Authorities had to force their way into the home, according to Sheriff's Office reports.

Both Capt. Tom Effler and Sheriff Carey Winders said they were not aware of any prior incidents at the home that involved police.

Winders had spoken with Detective Sgt. Tammy Odom and other investigators who were on the scene, and said they were confident that Bradford had killed his girlfriend, then himself.

"We're pretty sure it was a murder-suicide, by some of the things that had been said," Winders said. "The family had said they didn't get along, they had argued about some things. They had some relationship issues."

Meanwhile, a man arrested for robbing a handicapped person in November now faces charges for allegedly shooting an acquaintance five times at a Saturday morning party, authorities said.

Samuel Devon Cannon, 30, is wanted for shooting Tavarus Juante Wooten, who is in his 20s, at a party in the 100 block of Pinehill Lane in Dudley, according to a news release.

Wooten was in critical condition on Saturday afternoon, according to Wayne County Sheriff's Office deputies familiar with the case, and was still being treated at Wayne Memorial Hospital.

The Sheriff's Office issued warrants for Cannon for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injuries with the intent to kill, according to the release.

Both Cannon and Wooten have been arrested by the Wayne County Sheriff's Office before, Winders said.

Detective Odom is the lead investigator in the case, and anyone with information may call her at 731-1481 or the Wayne County Crime Stoppers hotline at 735-2255.

Cannon faced serious charges after police sought him in November for robbing a handicapped person at an N.C. 111 South residence in Seven Springs, according to Wayne County Sheriff's Office records.

Cannon also faced four counts of failing to pay child support in November, and was jailed under a $101,300 bond, authorities said.