Local News

Brother of estranged husband to be charged in double homicide

Posted December 31, 2013 6:14 a.m. EST
Updated December 31, 2013 6:53 p.m. EST

— The brother of a man investigators said was the primary suspect in the double homicide of a Louisburg mother and her daughter is expected to be charged with the killings, Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones said.

Ricky Junior Toney, 34, of 124 Ingle Dr. in Louisburg, and Joey Kearney, 16, of 27 Cucumber Shed Way in Louisburg, were shot by deputies following a six-hour search that spanned three counties. 

Toney died from his injuries. Kearney was shot in the hand and was treated and released from Franklin Regional Medical Center.

Kearney was interviewed by SBI agents and was in a holding cell at the Franklin County Sheriff's Office Tuesday evening, said Jones, who added that deputies plan to charge Kearney with the double homicide.

Law enforcement officers from several agencies had been searching for Toney — who was described as "armed and dangerous" — since a pre-dawn home invasion that left his estranged wife and her 16-year-old daughter dead.

Shortly before 9 a.m., Vance County Deputy Kenneth R. Wood spotted a gray Volkswagen on Cheeks Quarter Road in Franklin County driven by Toney, according to a statement from the Vance County Sheriff's Office. Kearney was in the passenger seat. The area is where Vance, Warren and Franklin counties meet.

The Volkswagen then rammed into Wood's vehicle and shots were fired, the statement said. The shooting incident occurred in Warren County. Wood was uninjured.

Investigators said his estranged wife, Akeisha Michelle Toney, 37, called 911 at about 2:30 a.m. After a few minutes, the phone line disconnected. Franklin County Deputy Ivan Jones soon arrived at her residence at 1775 W. River Road.

Jones noticed the lights were on at both ends of the home but no one answered after knocking on the front storm door multiple times, according to an incident report. Jones opened the storm door and noticed that the main door was unlocked. Jones and another deputy entered the residence.

"I entered the master bedroom of the residence and walked between the bed and dresser," Jones said in the report. "I noticed broken glass on the floor of the bedroom. I noticed blood pooling at the base of the bathroom door located inside the master bedroom."

Akeisha Toney and her daughter, Brianna Jones, were found lying on the bathroom floor.

"I noticed a mirror in the bathroom shattered from (what) appeared to be a gunshot," the report said. "As I backed out of the room I noticed the glass on the floor came from the mirror attached to a dresser with what appeared to be another gunshot."

Family members said Brianna Jones was a student at Louisburg High School.

"My niece, she was a good girl. I loved her," said Richard Collins, Brianna's uncle. "She didn't need to go down like this. It shouldn't have happened to her."

Relatives said Brianna Jones' older sister also lived in the house, but she was staying at a friend's house Monday night.

"It's shocking to me. It's like a dream," said Larry Collins, the girls' uncle. "It's unbelievable. We miss her. She'll be missed."

Akeisha Toney was granted a restraining order against her estranged husband in October, claiming that he threatened to kill her and himself, according to the document. Akeisha Toney also believed Toney owned a sawed-off shotgun, she said in the order.

Investigators asked for the public's help during the manhunt for Toney and warned that he might be driving a gray 2006 Volkswagen Passat. The vehicle was missing from the residence.

Toney was also wanted for questioning in a Dec. 20 homicide in Vance County.

Vance County investigators said the body of Roger Tant was found off Welden Mill Road on Dec. 22, although they believe he was killed two days earlier in a robbery.

Vance investigators said Toney was also wanted in connection with two murders in Franklin County.