Local News

Onslow County Family Charged With Murder In Death Of Disabled Relative

Posted July 12, 2003

— A woman, her husband and her son have been charged with murder in the beating and strangling death of her disabled mother, authorities said Friday.

Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown said Jeanine Hemby, 35; her husband, Christopher Hemby, 31; and their 15-year-old son killed the woman and buried her behind their house about two months ago.

They wanted the $2,200 Bonnie Witt received each month for being a disabled military dependent, Brown said.

Witt was confined to a wheelchair, Brown said.

An 18-year-old witness reported the crime to the Holly Ridge Police Department, Brown said.

"They had a young man who had supposedly witnessed a murder," Brown said. "The ironic thing is that the young man had told several people, but due to the bizarreness of what he told them, no one took him seriously."

Jeanine Hemby and Christopher Hemby were in Onslow County Jail on Friday night without bond.

The 15-year-old was taken into custody. He is in New Hanover County at a facility for juveniles, Brown said.

Witnesses saw the family spend several days digging a hole behind their house, Brown said.

Witt was beaten with a crescent wrench at her house and then buried, investigators said.

Authorities exhumed the body Friday.

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