Local News

Ex-employee charged with robbing, killing elderly Dunn man

Posted December 30, 2012

— A 76-year-old man was beaten, robbed and killed at his Dunn home Sunday morning by his former employee, according to the Harnett County Sheriff's Office.

James Robert Davis, 56, of an unknown address, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Charles C. Stewart, who was found dead at 276 Jernigan Road. 

Sheriff Larry Rollins said that Davis broke into the home around 10:30 a.m. and beat Stewart and his 62-year-old wife, Sharon. Davis stole firearms, jewelry and cash and fled in the couple's 2011 Chevrolet van, authorities said.

A 911 caller reported the assault and home invasion at 10:57 a.m. Deputies found Stewart dead outside the rear of the home and his wife inside the home. She had suffered multiple injuries and was taken to Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital.

Davis was caught at an abandoned house in the 400 block of Grady Road in Clinton at 7:40 p.m., authorities said. The stolen van was also found there.

Davis was charged with first-degree murder, and additional charges are pending.

Rollins said that Davis used to work for Stewart and was let go about a year ago.


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  • thought Dec 31, 2012

    I'm sick of hearing everyone has a mental illness - or add - or adhd. Take responsibility. That is the problem, if you can blame your ignorance on something else- you will. If the laws made people be held accountable without lawyers crying about how life was unfair- we would have a much better place to live.

  • puzzled Dec 31, 2012

    I didn't see in this article that this man is mentally ill, so could it be that he is just mean as ----? We must always find a ligit excuse for everything and meaness is usually the reason for most of this mess.

  • davidk_at_unc Dec 31, 2012

    "Davis stole firearms"

    So much for the argument that gun ownership prevents crime! On top of that, the man who DID commit the crime wound up with MORE weapons! Yee-haw!

  • kmt Dec 31, 2012

    most people to commit murder aren't terminally "crazy". i believe, based on the cases i've witnessed, they snapped. i've had old friends who committed suicide and were perfectly normal growing up. i've seen others commit murder and were normal people in the past. its plain and simple. life becomes too hard for some people and they eventually lose their minds. if people had jobs, crime would be eradicated (for the most part). unemployment makes no sense with record number billies and millies walking around. but biblical prophesies are real...

  • goldenosprey Dec 31, 2012

    It's sad to see yet another who covets what someone else has and kills to get it. -Truly American
    Are you posting about street criminals, polluting industries, health insurance companies, or all of the above?

    I don't know why we continue to be shocked by these events. We live in a society that glorifies guns and taking matters into one's own hands. It's a society where mental illness is largely ignored and considered unimportant by lawmakers. It's a society with almost universal access to powerful firearms.

  • Terkel Dec 31, 2012

    admyank, you gave me an idea. If people who had been diagnosed with mental illness were never allowed to own a gun again, it would cut down on some of those "disability" claims of stress, depression, ADD that are just too severe to allow the sufferer to work and that occur as soon as their UE runs out. Choose: your gun or your free cash.

  • beaulahjackson4 Dec 31, 2012

    I can. You have a politically correct liberal mentality that people should not be singled out for problems with their mental health.-admyank""

    Yes, yes it's always the liberal's fault. Couldn't possibly be the responsibility of the Cons who have gutted our mental healthcare system. Gee wonder why these things happen? Could it be because this person was mentally off balance..I would say so! This isn't about one political party or another. This is about a mentally ill person killing his former boss. This particular liberal feels this man should be locked up for life. Perhaps he never ever sought mental healthcare....or maybe he couldn't afford it with the loss of his job, either way this person was not mentally stable. I am going to go out on a limb here and blame James Robert Davis for this crime.

  • IPayYouPay Dec 31, 2012

    And republicans do away with tax cuts and programs that people need when big companies like AIG get bailed out with no stipulations for paying back (uh, Bush).

  • admyank Dec 31, 2012

    "I don't understand what makes people commit such horrible crimes!!"

    I can. You have a politically correct liberal mentality that people should not be singled out for problems with their mental health.

    So much so that they feel that it is horrible that people like this are out walking the streets versus in a mental facility. Additionally, I would change the laws so that people who have been committed to a mental facility may not own or be in possession of a firearm.

    But, here is what they do. They see a person who is mentally unstable, say "God Bless his Heart" and hire them. But don't think anything of it when on the other side the person snaps because of the added stress of now not having a job.

    When I was going through Psychology in college - we did several case studies where the smallest of family argument about putting a pencil in a cup versus leaving it on the table drove a person to the breaking point.

    It is not the big stuff that makes folks snap.

  • beaulahjackson4 Dec 31, 2012

    He will most likely average 7-10 years actually served (12-15 at the most) and be back out in society again. Check the national averages for 2nd and 1st degree murder in the USA.""

    Sadly, you are most likely correct. I have seen people walk out of prison for murder in less than 6 years too many times to count. Then we have things happen like the attacked on the firefighters Christmas Eve Day in Rochester, NY by William Spengler, Jr. Yet there are many in prison for non-violent crimes that do far more time. Senseless and dangerous.