Local News

Police: Smithfield woman beaten to death

Posted June 28, 2010

— A Smithfield woman found dead last Thursday was beaten to death, police said Monday.

Patricia Warren Stevens, 74, was found dead in her 309 N. Third St. home when her son stopped by to take her to dinner, police said.

Matthew Hagert Salentine, 34, of 212-B N. Third St., was charged Friday night with one count each of first-degree murder, armed robbery and first-degree burglary and three counts of uttering a forged instrument. He remains in the Johnston County Jail without bond.

Police said Salentine was arrested after investigators found suspicious activity in Stevens' bank account.


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  • floyd_lawson Jun 28, 2010

    Somebody that can do something like this can't possibly have a soul. Throw whoever is responsible for this into a hole and just leave it....Come back later to fill it.....

  • ncwolf08 Jun 28, 2010

    This is such a tragedy!!!

    Mrs. Stevens was such a wonderful person. She was warm, caring and giving. It was my pleasure to have known her. Her death was so senseless. I am sure if he was desperate for money, she would have helped him out...that is the kind of person she was. He did not have to kill her. She recently had some health problems...so, I am sure she was no match for him...

    One of Mrs. Stevens' daughters is my good friend and supervisor. We are all devastated by this. We want the family to know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you all.

  • PorkyBunny Jun 28, 2010

    She was a wonderful person. I live a block from her as an adult and grew up knowing her as well. She had the kindest of all smiles and I will miss seeing her walking the dog each day. Let's all keep her family in our prayers. It is hard to do, but the perpetrator of this crime is God's to judge not ours.

  • pulstar40 Jun 28, 2010

    My sympathy to the family, especially the son who found her. As so many have pointed out, this is just horrific. What is our nation coming to?

  • lburch5 Jun 28, 2010

    This discussion has gotten off track so I want to take a moment to refocus on the victim. I want to tell you all what a lovely person Pat was. She was lovely on the inside and out. She was cheerful, intelligent, friendly, kind, and genuine. She never harmed anyone. She was kind to everyone. She loved her family and pets. I was always glad to see her and talk to her. I will always remember her gentle smile. I can't believe this happened to her.

  • Adelinthe Jun 28, 2010

    wdstock -

    I agree with you.

    Some people are so hung up on their own little personal agendas, they never think about the thoughts or feelings of others.

    When someone has died, the best thing to do is say your sorry and pray for those who loved you.

    Remember, people are hurt and grieving, and they may be reading these comments.

    So take your petty little personal agendas to stories about THEM in particular.

    God bless.


  • lvhollywood20042000 Jun 28, 2010

    this stuff is so horrible, and very scary.

  • therighthasnegativepressure Jun 28, 2010

    It never fails 2 amaze all the rest of us, of how some can turn this in2 a political discussion. I pity the people that say that this guy is going 2b given some sort of break by the libs. Another DITTO head trick, 2 keep the weak minds out there blaiming someone else for the problems of human society. This kind of tragedy has been going on for millenium. I keep wondering what happened 2 compassionate conservatives out there. What an insult 2 this son and his family for some ignoramus 2 imply that the real issue is some sort of liberal thing.How sad and pathetic.This is culture war stuff shouted by the far right.I bet this guy shows up @ the funeral and somehow tries 2 blame the president 4 it, or Dems or Liberals. (Jefferson was a liberal). Once again, why is this a political discussion? Again a FOX "news" viewer has spoken.What an insult to this womans family and her son, that it somehow is a liberal thing that his happened. As Ben Franklin once said, "the more a fool talks...

  • ConcernedNCC Jun 28, 2010

    What the heck is "uttering a forged instrument"?

  • pjnoobie2 Jun 28, 2010

    Jahausa.....there is a God....there really is....it was her time...its ok to guestion God...he understands and forgives you..