01/05/14 — Charges upgraded to murder

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Charges upgraded to murder

By John Joyce
Published in News on January 5, 2014 1:50 AM


Charges against a Wayne County man in the Christmas Day shooting of a woman in his driveway have been elevated to murder, the Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Johnnie Allen Jernigan Jr., 43, in custody since Dec. 25 on charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, is instead charged with murder and discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle.

Jernigan allegedly shot Jeanne Dawn Suttle as she sat in the passenger seat of a car parked in the driveway of his residence at 1558 Old Smithfield Road.

Ms. Suttle died Dec. 31 at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where she had been in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head since Christmas Day.

Initially held in the Wayne County Jail under a $150,000 secured bond, Jernigan is now being held without bond.

No one else is charged in the incident and the case is marked as cleared by arrest, according to the report.