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Murder charge dropped in fatal Middlesex shooting

Posted January 21, 2014

Jerome Bernard Neal
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— The Johnston County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday dismissed murder and attempted murder charges against a Middlesex man in connection with a recent fatal shooting after determining that the man acted in self-defense.

Jerome Bernard Neal, 29, was arrested on Jan. 11 following a shooting at 370 Barnes Lake Road in Middlesex. Darrick Hagans, 18, of Spring Hope, was killed in the shooting, and Kwami Jones, 19, also of Spring Hope, was wounded.

Interviews with witnesses and a review of evidence from the scene – a ski mask and two firearms were found near the house – showed that Hagans and Jones were armed and were trying to rob Neal and others in his home when Neal shot them, authorities said Tuesday.

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  • carolinadrew Jan 23, 2014

    ericwhiteman1, While wral did not find it pertinent to mention this in their article for some unknown reason, Mr. Neal is actually still incarcerated under a $2,000,000 bond on the charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. wtsbradio.com covered the story under their local news section and included this information. So technically he didn't use a legally owned firearm. This may have been why it took a couple weeks to sort out the appropriate charges.

  • torchhappysean Jan 22, 2014

    I can't understand why he was arrested in the first place? If all of the evidence was there as the story says then it was a no brainer that he wasn't guilty of anything..

  • ericwhiteman1 Jan 22, 2014

    I'm glad to hear that this man used his legally owned fire arm to protect himself. Without the stand your ground law, this man would likely end up in prison.