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Neighbors' Tips Lead To Arrest In Murder Of Wilson Veteran

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WILSON, N.C. — Authorities have made an arrest in the murder of a decorated veteran in Wilson.

John Phelps, 67, was arrested in Rabun County, Ga., and charged with the murder of 75-year-old Wes Ives.

"A 67-year-old person committing a homicide is unusual," said Capt. Phil Baggett of the Wilson Police Department.

Police say Phelps met Ives about a month ago. They believe Ives had been trying to help Phelps, though they will not say how. Police say Phelps had been to Ives' home several times.

Ives was found dead in his home Saturday. Detectives found Phelps overnight in a relative's house in Rabun County, Ga.

Wilson police said information from neighbors helped to lead them to Phelps.

"We actually set up some vehicle stops in the neighborhood," Baggett said. "Bits of information that seemed unimportant to community members, when we pieced them together, allowed us to get on the track of this fellow."

Phelps' wife said she was shocked by her husband's arrest, adding that believes he is not a violent man.

Police said Phelps had items with him that were stolen from Ives' home. Detectives said they hope to bring Phelps back to North Carolina early next week.

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