Man charged with car theft after sister's body found in Knightdale
Posted October 13, 2013
Updated October 14, 2013
Knightdale, N.C. — 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.