Local News

The Shock of Double Murder Still Sinking In

Posted June 5, 1997

— The horror of what happened in this Lumberton neighborhood is still sinking in. Doctor Allen Faircloth finds the whole thing hard to believe.

Sam Braswell and Elizabeth Baxley, his housekeeper, were murdered in their home-- just down the street from Rebecca Grooms. The proximity of Wednesday's events has Grooms on edge. She's afraid something else might happen on the same street.

Investigators still don't know what happened here. They do know someone tried to set the house on fire, and that Braswell was supposed to appear in court today to fight charges he molested a 9-year-old boy last June.

Principal Faircloth says that's not the message Sam Braswell was all about. Friends say Braswell was a kind man who loved teaching. He taught English at Saint Paul's High School for the last 15 years, but spent the last three months on administrative leave.

Faircloth believes Braswell cared about people, the kids, and the school. Just last Friday, Braswell made the statement he would never do anything to undermine the school or the students.

Apparently Braswell had his court date moved up so he could prove his innocence as soon as possible. Police won't say if the indecent liberties case is somehow tied to the murders.

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