Warren Co. Authorities Investigate 8th Homicide Of Year
Posted October 9, 2006 9:52 a.m. EDT
MANSON, N.C. — Warren County sheriff's investigators are investigating a homicide that apparently occurred over the weekend.
A family friend found the body of Joseph Mayfield, 73, inside his home on U.S. Highway 1 in Manson. He had been shot in the stomach, authorities said.
Warren County Sheriff Johnny Williams said Monday that it was still too early in the investigation to determine what might have led to Mayfield's death, but he said he did not think it was the result of a home invasion.
"It appears that Mr. Mayfield let them in," Williams said. "Something happened after he let (the assailant or assailants) in to cause his death."
Mayfield was a retired textile-mill worker who had been separated from his wife, Jennie Mayfield, for a number of years. She said they remained good friends.
"It was quite a shock to all of us, you know," Jennie Mayfield said. "If he had been sick, it would have been one thing, but to die -- it was quite a shock."
Mayfield's slaying is the eighth homicide case in Warren County this year -- more than the past five years combined. Two homicides were recorded in 2001, one in 2002 and one in 2003. Three homicides were reported in 2005.
The number of murder convictions in Warren County would have been much higher in the five-year period had it not been for plea-bargaining. In nearly a half-dozen cases, defendants charged with murder were allowed to plead guilty to a lesser crime.
Mayfield's death is the only homicide case unsolved. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Warren County Sheriff's Office at