Local News

Prosecutor: Slain Knightdale woman had 50 stab wounds

Posted October 24, 2013

— A Knightdale man suspected in the death of his younger sister had a cut on his hand and a knife in the car when state troopers found him injured and confused on a Virginia roadside two weeks ago, a Wake County prosecutor said Thursday.

Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings told a judge that John Wesley Winters Jr., 70, admitted to a doctor at a Prince George County hospital that "he had an altercation with his sister and stabbed her."

Cummings said Seanne Winters Barnette, 55, had 50 stab wounds when Knightdale police found her dead at the Alta Legacy Oaks apartments she shared with her brother.

Although he is a suspect, Winters has not been charged with Barnette's death.

Thursday's court appearance was for a charge of vehicle larceny, which Winters faces after Virginia authorities found him Oct. 10 with Barnette's PT Cruiser.

The details of Barnette's death were revealed when District Judge Keith Gregory asked Cummings about Winters $1.5 million bond was so high.

Cumming said the evidence he referenced could lead to further charges.

Authorities haven't said how long Barnette might have been dead before she was found Oct. 12, but a search warrant for her home and car indicate neighbors hadn't seen her for about a week.

Police conducting a well-being check arrived to find flies going in and out of the apartment through an open window. When they went inside, they found Barnette covered in blood with a U.S. flag draped over her body.

Family friends said Winters had moved in with his sister several weeks prior to Barnette's death after she saw him being on WRAL News being interviewed at a downtown Raleigh soup kitchen.


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  • itsmyownopinion Oct 25, 2013

    That many stab wounds indicate a real hatred, malice aforethought, just overkill. If he's insane, it appears it was his hatred for his sister that caused his insanity. Their father must be rolling over in his grave. What a shame for his family.

  • mac240 Oct 25, 2013

    The way our judicial system works the more harm you cause the less likely you are to go to jail...they will declare the guy insane and give him treatment!

  • edtomjr Oct 25, 2013

    I work in the building where the OCME is, her body was brought in last week. The things those people see are truly wild. 50 times? That is insane.

  • lwe1967 Oct 24, 2013

    Horrible! It surely wasn't an accident. Something has not come up yet.

  • retiredfolk1 Oct 24, 2013

    Throw away the key.

  • Brian Jenkins Oct 24, 2013

    50 stab wounds and a US flag? If it was 57 I would be suspicious.

  • dlpardue Oct 24, 2013

    So much rage and hate.