Local News

One arrested in death of man found on roadside

Posted December 16, 2013
Updated December 17, 2013

Billy Watson Strickland

— The Johnston County Sheriff's Office made a quick arrest Monday after the body of a man was found lying on the grassy roadside of Hannah Creek Road near Strickland Crossroads Road and Interstate 40.

A passing driver spotted the man, who he said was covered with abrasions and barely breathing, just before noon. The witness told WRAL News that a gun was found at the scene.

Authorities identified the man as 62-year-old Billy Watson Strickland of U.S. Highway 701 in Four Oaks. They said he had been robbed and shot.

By 11 p.m., deputies had charged Anthony Edward Messer, 31, of Stewart Road in Four Oaks, with robbery with a dangerous weapon and first-degree murder. He was being held without bond in the Johnston County Jail.


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  • seapeeay Dec 17, 2013

    "Billy Strickland was a good person and did NOT deserve this."


    NOBODY deserves this.

  • CharmedLife Dec 17, 2013

    Obamacare for one and all,

    That's Mr. Strickland's picture.

  • countrylynn3 Dec 17, 2013

    People these days .... Sickening ! And the fact that our tax dollars will be supporting him ? Ugghh ..

  • iknowmyschnitzel Dec 17, 2013

    Could be the cocaine still in his system for one.

  • DJ of Clayton Dec 17, 2013

    Billy Strickland was a good person and did NOT deserve this. I am reminded of a couple of times he and I went fishing and the first time I ever went 'flounder gigging'.

  • scubagirl2 Dec 17, 2013

    Good job to the LEOs for a speedy arrest. Hopefully that little smile will be removed from his face very soon.

  • Sweet summertime Dec 17, 2013

    "Why is he smirking in his mugshot? Did he want to go back to prison?" - Obamacare for one and all

    Don't worry, he won't be smiling for long when he's sentence to prison for the rest of his life.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Dec 17, 2013

    The two didn't live far from one another.

  • 1775 Dec 17, 2013

    Q. "Why is he smirking..?"
    A. His "normal" isn't our "normal"

    Welcome to the world we live in!

  • Obamacare for one and all Dec 17, 2013

    Why is he smirking in his mugshot? Did he want to go back to prison?