Local News

Drifter charged in Fayetteville man's death

Posted December 29, 2010 9:59 a.m. EST
Updated December 29, 2010 10:39 a.m. EST

— DNA evidence has helped Fayetteville police crack an August homicide case.

James Cornelius McNeill, 37, has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Jeremy Michael Dixon, 21, who was found beaten to death in his apartment on Jeffery Drive on Aug. 3.

McNeill already is in the Scotland Correctional Institution for drug charges and a probation violation.

Police describe McNeill as a drifter who moved between Fayetteville and Lumberton as he searched for places to stay.

Investigators said Dixon met McNeill on the street and took him back to his apartment for a sexual encounter. They said McNeill might have been in the apartment for a couple of days before Dixon was killed.

Dixon's 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt was missing from the apartment parking lot when police found his body. The car has never been recovered.