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One arrested, one wanted in fatal Halifax home invasion

Posted January 23, 2011
Updated January 29, 2011

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— Halifax County sheriff's deputies arrested one man early Sunday and were searching for another wanted in connection with a fatal home invasion outside Roanoke Rapids a day earlier.

Lester Kearney and Brandon Watson broke into a home on Ward Drive shortly after midnight Friday and shot three men, according to Maj. Bruce Temple, with the sheriff's office.

Antonio Jerold Mills, 29, was shot repeatedly and died of his injuries. More details of the case, including a motive and the names of the other victims, haven't been released.

Temple said that Kearney was arrested early Sunday at a Chapel Hill home by Halifax deputies, State Bureau of Investigation agents and town police officers.

Watson remains at large. Temple cautioned that he is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on Watson's whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at 252-583-1991 or Crime Stoppers at 252-583-4444.

Kearney faces one count each of murder, shooting into an occupied dwelling and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill.

He was placed in the Halifax County jail and denied bond. His first court appearance was set for Monday.

Kearney has spent four of the past six years serving prison sentences for convictions including second-degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, according to state Department of Correction records. He also racked up 15 infractions in prison, including two each for assault a person with a weapon and involvement with a gang.

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  • wewoods Jan 24, 2011

    Yes. Bc, clearly the best way to react to this story is to blame the NCDOC. Bc, CLEARLY the gov. is out to kill and main all the rest of us. -dlk13ster

    Uhhh...who let him out of prison with a record like that? NCDOC. And why? You mean to tell me you actually believe this guy was re-abilitated and OK to re-enter society? I guess they do that in YOUR country too. And btw assault w/deadly weapon can be a felony in MY country.

    You know some of these people have it BETTER in jail than at home, if they even have one. Cable TV, Hot meals, sex, drugs, all their friends to hang with...Why is prison not harsh? What happened to hard labor? Isn't it suppose to be a miserable place?

    When NCDOC makes stupid decisions like this, I won't vote to give them one more red cent of my money. Take away cable TV, I'm sure that bill alone would pay the salary of a decent DA.

    Its really sad that Money dictates peoples life n well being. Money is only a motivator. Shouln't it come from within now?

  • dlk13ster Jan 24, 2011

    "HEEEELLLLOOOOO!!!!! NCDOC!!! Anyone in there???"-wewoods

    Yes. Bc, clearly the best way to react to this story is to blame the NCDOC. Bc, CLEARLY the gov. is out to kill and main all the rest of us.

    You really want to see an end to this? Vote for higher taxes.

    Bc, I don't know how things work in YOUR county, but in MINE the jail was last renovated in '83--to turn it from a med. security fac. housing 170 prisoners, to a min. security facility housing 183.

    To service a county of more than 125K people.

    Also, I don't know about your county, but MINE has had to cut its DA's budget multiple times due to lack of revenue--such that ADAs in our district now often read cases for the first time while they're arguing them, and are so overworked and understaffed that they feel compelled to plea most misdemeanors (like assault w/ a deadly weap) in order to save time for the felonies.

    Granted, with all the pay cuts, they aren't exactly OVERWELMED w/ talented applicants, even if they WERE hiring

  • wewoods Jan 24, 2011

    Yea, What the ... is he doing OUT?????? Are you Kidding me?????
    HEEEELLLLOOOOO!!!!! NCDOC!!! Anyone in there???

    Who is going to put a stop to this??

    First we put him in Jail and pay to feed, clothe, house, bathe and entertain him to just let him out so he can contine to hurt and kill us??

    Here's an idea, If someone is paroled and they commit a crime, EVERYONE on their parole board is fired and their lawyer has his license revoked...maybe they'll actually THINK about what their doing.

    or...

    Give him my address...

  • Idrivemyown Jan 24, 2011

    I an getting so sick of hearing about things like this. Why was this guy even back out on the streets?? Will our justice system ever learn??