Local News

Fayetteville Police Charge Professor with Murder

Posted December 27, 1999

— A Scotland County man is dead and police have charged his former professor with second-degree murder.

Police say 66-year-old Carrie Stokes of Fayetteville shot 30-year-old Henry Burk Junior of Laurinburg Tuesday night.

Stokes has been an assistant professor of business and finance at Fayetteville State University. Burk was a bail bondsman.

Fayetteville police were called to a house on Gola Drive just after 6 p.m. Tuesday. The caller, a woman, said there had been an accidental shooting at her home.

When police arrived at the house, Burk was found shot several times and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a call to 911, the long-time business professor says the shooting was not intentional.

Police say it was murder.

"He suffered multiple gunshot wounds," said Sgt. Roberto Rivera of the Fayetteville Police Department. "It's really hard to believe it was accidental."

Officials said there were no signs of forced entry into the home.

Investigators have not determined a motive for the shooting but family members told WRAL that Burk had been a student of Stokes at FSU. Neighbors say the 30-year-old was at his former teacher's home all day.

Burk's wife told WRAL she knew of no relationship between the two following graduation. Burk graduated with a degree in Business Administration at FSU in December 1998.

Senior Doug Barnes had Stokes for a Business Communications computer class. The 22-year-old says she ran a strict classroom but was always fair, the kind of teacher who searched for grants to upgrade the computers on campus.

"Ms. Stokes was a tough teacher," Barnes said. "People wanted to be in her class because they knew they were going to learn something."

Stokes is being held on $1 million bond at the Cumberland County Jail. She will appear in front of a judge Thursday morning.

The information director at FSU said the school has no formal policy in place on how professors and staff are dealt with if they are charged with a crime. Instead, the matters are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. andJohn McDonnell

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