Local News

Johnston County couple killed in murder-suicide

Posted November 23, 2015
Updated November 25, 2015

— A Clayton couple died Monday night in a murder-suicide, according to the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.

According to investigators, Michael Summers and his wife, Jennifer, got into an argument at about 7:15 p.m. at their home at 119 Bentley Way.

Michael Summers, 46, shot and killed his wife before shooting himself, investigators said.

The couple's two sons, ages 16 and 11, left the home during the argument and called 911.

Investigators said Jennifer Summers filed a restraining order against Michael Summers in May after the couple had a violent confrontation, an order that was later dismissed.

Jennifer Summers said in the restraining order that Michael Summers used "full force" on her cheek in front of their children and that he was a lifelong hunter who kept riles and a handgun in the home.

Michael Summers filed for custody of their children nine days later, according to court documents.

"One of the biggest tactics that we are seeing increasingly is the threat of custody," Wilma Hampton of Harbor Inc. said.

Hampton said Harbor Inc, a domestic violence agency, is contacted by the court when someone files a restraining order.

"One of the advocates will go over there and meet with the individual find out what's going on in their case," said Wilma Hampton of Harbor Inc.

Hampton said men threatening child custody is often a tactic used to control women.

"Whoever the abuser may be will hire an attorney and sue for custody, which more or less forces them into a corner," she said. "Often times they might withdraw the restraining order dismiss it to try and hold on to their child."


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  • Megan Waldron Nov 26, 2015
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    Was this post ^ meant to be racially insensitive and even more irrelevant than the last? If so, you're hittin' 'em out of the park. There are two boys-11 & 16, waking up to a Thanksgiving day with two deceased parents. Their father killed their mother. They had to flee the house and call 911. I'll send up a prayer for these poor boys, but also for your hateful and ignorant soul today. God Bless.

  • Joseph Mallard Nov 26, 2015
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    It was intended to be sarcastic and rhetorical. It is obvious that the family is white, simply with the absence of names like Shauntradell or Josinootrey or Chaquandrey.

  • Megan Waldron Nov 25, 2015
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    You're the only one who brought it up. How about offering our condolences to these two poor boys rather than being angry over a non-issue?

  • Joseph Mallard Nov 25, 2015
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    So what is the race of this dude? Since race has become the most important factor in any violent crime, this information should now be included in all articles.

  • Roy Whaley Nov 24, 2015
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    Please change the map. Dudley has nothing to do with this story.

  • Erica Konopka Nov 24, 2015
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    WRAL, is there a GoFundMe, or other resources through which we can help these poor kids? :(

  • Laura Wood Nov 24, 2015
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    Very true.. however, the children may be at peace now, as well as the wife. What a horrible situation.

  • Kevin O'Donnell Nov 24, 2015
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    Two children are left without parents. i can only think that Mr. Summers will not like where he will be spending eternity.

  • Sara Hauser Nov 24, 2015
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    how horrible for those children to have to experience this and go through the holidays with both parents gone in such a violent way.

  • Laura Wood Nov 24, 2015
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    I wonder why the restraining order was dismissed. I wonder if the judge/lawyer relationship had a conflict of interest? I had that happen to me. Johnston County's justice hard at work.. smh. Praying for this family. .what a tragedy!