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Grudge Over Past Crimes May Have Led to Slayings

Posted December 20, 2006

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— A 14-year grudge might be behind a double murder last week, authorities said Wednesday.

Steve Allen Ward, 37, of 400 Courtland Drive in Rocky Mount, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of Danny Richardson, 30, and Lathosa West, 23.

The couple was shot to death on Dec. 13, but their bodies weren't found until Sunday afternoon, when a relative concerned that Richardson had been out of touch for several days stopped by his Wilson home.

Richardson invited Ward, an old friend, to move in on Dec. 12, authorities said. Less than a day later, the two men argued and shots were fired, authorities said.

Investigators wouldn't say Wednesday what the argument was about, but they were looking at the criminal history the men shared.

Ward spent seven years in prison for burning down a day-care center at Northern Nash High School in 1992.

Richardson was an accomplice in the crime, but he was sentenced to five years in juvenile detention because he was a month short of his 16th birthday at the time.

The pair was also charged with assault in a shooting that took place the same night as the arson.

Wilson County Sheriff's Office detectives handling the murder case are meeting with Nash County Sheriff's Office detectives who handled the arson case in 1992. They declined to say if they thought Ward shot Richardson because he got a lighter sentence 14 years ago, however.
19 Comments

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  • blkf4whitemale Apr 19, 2007

    for all u guys that didnt know danny u need to shut up. i knew danny personally and he was a changed guy. he was married but separated from hsi wife because of there differences....so he had moved on with another female. he was no longer a criminal. he once told me that people accused him of being to nice and i told him yea u are... he said it was going to get him hurt one day. i never thought it would be like this. trust me if danny invited to stay he was just trying to help him out...he was changed..still had his computer business and just started selling insurance. i love danny and always will he was a close friend of mine and ill be damn if ill let anyone say anything bad about him. that ward guy deserves the death penalty!

  • redstarlean Dec 21, 2006

    Thats what happens when you let people with low IQ's have guns

  • aanderson06 Dec 21, 2006

    Now from the previous article was Richardson not married and seperated from his wife with 2 kids and 1 on the way. That alone raises a flag, what was the story behind that? And why had Richardson seperated from the wife, baby on the way yet living with a younger woman? But the fact remains 2 people are deceased and the accused is in custody. Let this be a lesson, no overnight ex con guests.

  • BLeighVnJC Dec 21, 2006

    Everyone is assuming that Richardson was still a Criminal. How do any of us know if that one run in with the law was enough to set him straight. No matter who a person is they do not deserve to die they way these two died. and as for "no innocent blood" what about Ms. West.

  • Snoopy Dec 21, 2006

    Um hello Rick? Did you not read the story? There were 2 innocent people killed! You need to read the story before you comment!

  • th1970 Dec 21, 2006

    I totally disagree with Rickbuck99. There was an innocent person that was hurt and died. Ms. West had nothing to do with any of the issues between the guys.

  • JessGH Dec 21, 2006

    I feel especially sad for Ms. West's family. She was likely just with the wrong guy at the wrong time.
    But for the record - society is no more sick now than it has ever been. Ever heard of Nero? Hitler? Thug Behram? Jack the Ripper? We're just more informed now about some of the depravity of our fellow man.

  • mhoward Dec 21, 2006

    AN INNOCENT PERSON WAS HURT IN REFERENCE TO RICKBUCK99, THE FEMALE WAS THERE AT THE WRONG PLACE AND WRONG TIME, BUT STILL PEOPLE LIVES CHANGE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPEN IN THE PAST. AND IF THE MAN FELT LIKE HIS BUDDIE WAS WRONG HE SHOULD HAVE FOUND ANOTHER WAY TO DEAL WITH IT, THIS MAN IS ALREADY DEAD WHEN HE DECEIDED TO KILL ANOTHER MAN. I HAVE THE FAMILIES OF BOTH VICTIMS IN MY PRAYERS.

  • mhoward Dec 21, 2006

    AN INNOCENT PERSON WAS HURT IN REFERENCE TO RICKBUCK99, THE FEMALE WAS THERE AT THE WRONG TIME, BUT STILL PEOPLE LIVES CHANGE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPEN IN THE PAST. AND IF THE MAN FELT LIKE HIS BUDDIE WAS WRONG HE SHOULD HAVE FOUND ANOTHER WAY TO DEAL WITH IT, THIS MAN IS ALREADY DEAD WHEN HE DECEIDED TO KILL ANOTHER MAN. I HAVE THE FAMILIES OF BOTH VICTIMS IN MY PREYERS.

  • blahblahblah Dec 21, 2006

    Rickbuck 99 - how can you say no innocent people were hurt??? What about the woman who was murdered? What about the families of the victims? Untold innocent people were hurt by these two murders.

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