Local News

Man charged with car theft after sister's body found in Knightdale

Posted October 13, 2013
Updated October 14, 2013

— The brother of a Knightdale woman found dead in her apartment Saturday has been charged with stealing her car, police said Sunday.

John Wesley Winters Jr., 70, was arrested in Prince William County, Va., on Thursday after state troopers found him along Interstate 95 in the 2008 PT Cruiser of his sister, Seanne Winters Barnette.

Barnette, 55, was found dead in her home at 1025 Sappony Drive, Apt. 202, on Saturday after family members requested a well-being check.

Authorities haven't said how Barnette died or how long she might have been dead but said Sunday night that they are investigating the case as a homicide.

Knightdale police Chief Jason Goodwin said Winters had been living with his sister for several weeks and that detectives are trying to determine if he had any involvement in her death.

Close family friends told WRAL News Sunday that Winters had been homeless for years and that Barnette invited him to live with her after seeing him on WRAL News in August being interviewed at a local soup kitchen.

After state troopers took Winters into custody in Virginia, they took him to Sentara Hospital in Woodbridge for a medical evaluation, Knightdale police said.

He was later taken into police custody for the theft of the vehicle.

According to family friends, Winters and Barnette are two of seven children of John Winters Sr., who was elected the first black member of the Raleigh City Council in 1961 and was among the first African-Americans elected to the North Carolina Senate.

John Winters Sr. died in 2004 at the age of 84 and, in 2007, was posthumously inducted in the Raleigh Hall of Fame for his service, which included helping develop southeast Raleigh.


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  • pja1357 Oct 14, 2013

    There is a whole lot more going on in this family situation. It started some when their father passed but really kicked in in high gear when the mother passed away so be very careful how you criticize. So many of the same people make inappropriate comments on every article every single day. Just think as this could have very well be one of your family members.

  • LoriBelle Oct 14, 2013

    John Winters Sr was such an upstanding man. He brought much needed attention and improvement to SE Raleigh. His children? Not so much.

  • anotherbabyboomer Oct 14, 2013

    At least John Winters Sr. isn't around to deal with this. Very unfortunate and sad this happened.

  • Obamacare is here Oct 14, 2013

    southraleighbro, I just read your comment and all I can say is wow, what on God's green Earth are you on?

  • Obamacare is here Oct 14, 2013

    Life in prison might be 5 years for this man.

  • southraleighbro Oct 14, 2013

    yes, that's is so sad you see this stuff in the news especially among folks, but as we know the days of living upon earth is getting shorter and shorter and folks are killing each other like it hunting season my her soul rest in peace and his too, but hope he get the crime he deserve with common law robbery of stealing sisters care and on the flea to get out of town knowing he was going to be caught soon or later, good deeds you cant help when people do you wrong especially family

  • tsquaring Oct 14, 2013

    Strange, a 70 year old man killing his sister and stealing her car.