Local News

Man to be sentenced for raping, killing grandmother

Posted December 12, 2008 3:14 p.m. EST
Updated December 18, 2008 1:35 p.m. EST

— A Maxton man convicted of raping and killing his 69-year-old grandmother will find out if he will face the death penalty.

Earlier this week, a Robeson County jury found James Junior Blue guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree rape and armed robbery in the death of Shirley Locklear.

Prosecutors plan to ask for the death penalty when sentencing continues Monday.

Prosecutors said that Blue, who was 29 at the time, became angry when his grandmother refused to lend him money. He hit Locklear with a piece of wood and a cooking pot, choked her with a cord from a tape recorder and then raped her.

Blue took $200 from underneath her mattress to spend on crack cocaine, prosecutors said.

Locklear's body was found in a ditch from Blue's home Nov. 8, 2005. Two days earlier, other family members reported her missing after she failed to show up to a nephew's birthday party.

While awaiting trial, Blue allegedly sexually assaulted another inmate in the Robeson County Jail in 2007.

Before his arrest for his grandmother's murder, Blue had a lengthy criminal record in Robeson, including multiple convictions for breaking-and-entering and larceny, according to state Department of Correction records.