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Man charged in Wilson County shooting deaths

Posted February 22, 2012

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— The Wilson County Sheriff's Office arrested a 45-year-old man Wednesday morning in connection with a double homicide earlier this week.

The bodies of John Henry Little, 61, and Charlene Jones, 42, were found inside a home near Elm City Monday. They had been shot.

Verna Lee Farmer faces murder charges in their deaths. Sheriff Calvin Woodard said Farmer, who had a "strong friendship" with Jones, admitted to deputies that he was involved in the crime.

Woodard stopped short of saying that Farmer had confessed, however.

The gun believed to be used in the killings was found within 2 miles of Little's home, Woodard said. He declined to comment on a possible motive, but said investigators believe Farmer acted alone.

Deputies were dispatched to 3233 Corbett Ave. around noon Monday after Jones' sister called 911 to report her sister missing. She hadn't seen her sister since Saturday, she said.

3233 Corbett Ave. Sheriff: Man shot two people at Wilson County home

She told a 911 dispatcher that a friend had gone to the house, which Little rented, to check on Jones and that he found a bloody cap outside.

A neighbor also reported seeing blood outside the home.

According to search warrants, investigators learned through interviewing witnesses that Farmer had threatened to kill Jones in the past if he ever caught her with another man.

Little, Jones and Farmer all knew each other, Woodard said, but he didn't elaborate on the nature of their relationships.

On Tuesday, acting on a tip, investigators found Jones' cellphone, a pair of socks and a white T-shirt with reddish-brown stains in the dumpster of a Fresh Way Food Mart, warrants state.

Surveillance video from the store showed a man resembling Farmer in the area of the dumpster between 8:15 and 8:45 p.m. Sunday. 

Farmer's wife told WRAL News Wednesday that she and her husband had gone to get dinner around 6 p.m. Sunday. They came home and Farmer told her he was going to visit his mother, she said.

When he returned, the couple watched television together and Farmer acted like nothing had happened, she said.

She said she had never heard of either victim.

Farmer was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury in 1996, according to state Department of Corrections records. He also has multiple DWI convictions on his record, as well as a breaking and entering charge from 1991.

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  • wisabear70 Feb 22, 2012

    @ udaycoosay
    VERNA IS THE REAL VICTIM HERE.

    HUH??? He admitted doing this, hes alive and breathing... so please tell me how HES a victim!!! This man and woman are gone, their families and friends are devastated... they are the victims!!!

  • wisabear70 Feb 22, 2012

    You can drink and drive, steal, sell drugs,and assualt people here in Wilson Co as long as you know the right people. Wilson Co waits until these criminals kill someone to actually punish them. Law enforcement arrest them and these dangerous people are right back on the street within a very short period of time. When is the justice system here in Wilson going to learn???

  • fishon Feb 22, 2012

    On Tuesday, acting on a tip, investigators found Jones' cellphone, a pair of socks and a white T-shirt with brownish-reddish stains in the dumpster of a Fresh Way Food Mart, warrants state.

    Wow, how UNlike the Jason Young murder trials. Actual evidence!

  • gunny462 Feb 22, 2012

    "Some people seem to think just because he was arrested he is guilty. It wont be the first time the police ever arrested the wrong person. Buckie"

    Some people rather voice a stupid opinion than read the article... HEY! Guess that means YOU!

    "Verna Lee Farmer faces murder charges in their deaths. Sheriff Calvin Woodard said Farmer, who had a "strong friendship" with Jones, admitted to deputies that he was involved in the crime."

    Guess he fired away from them and they helped him by running into the bullets ehh buckie? Geesh. Only in Buckies book is the criminal the victim.

  • wattsun Feb 22, 2012

    Good Job WCSO!

  • youpeoplearesoentertaining Feb 22, 2012

    @ udaycoosay - Are you serious??? he's basically admitted to the crime...!

  • charliecharlotte Feb 22, 2012

    @Hans: Whether or not Mr. Farmer is convicted of this crime, he is guilty of habitually driving even though his license was permanently revoked (for repeated DWI convictions). He has been found guilty of breaking and entering, possession of/or use of drug paraphernalia ,assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. For all of this, he has only served six months in prison and been given probation for everything else. The sheriff's department has been very thorough in their investigation and most likely has reliable evidence, otherwise they would not have arrested and charged the suspect. As I said in my previous post, I hope that the judicial system will follow through and do justice for the victims.

  • just my2cents Feb 22, 2012

    He admitted he took part in this crime....why would he be innocent?

  • Hans Feb 22, 2012

    "Good work on the part of the Wilson County Sheriff's Dept. Now, hopefully the judicial system will follow through with appropriate punishment." - charliecharlotte

    Can we wait until he is actually convicted first?

  • honans77 Feb 22, 2012

    For the life of me I cannot understand why you would say that udaycoosay.... Good job done for all law enforcement involved.

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