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Man Arrested In Wendell's First Homicide In Decades

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WENDELL, N.C. — A fight over money ended with a blow to the head that left one Wendell man dead, and another charged with murder. It's an unusual case, because Wendell police haven't investigated a murder in 25 years.

A third of the 15-member Wendell police force cruised neighborhood streets Saturday morning chasing leads. They were looking for the man who they say killed Carlton Robertson.

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    "First thing I asked, really, is 'Do they know who did it?'" said Robertson's aunt Doris Jeffreys.

    Jeffreys said friends and family called the 30-year old man "Derreall." She said investigators told her that her nephew let Delquon Covington sleep at his house Thursday night.

    Investigators said on Friday night, Covington started arguing with her nephew outside another home.

    "(Covington) told Derreall, 'Man, you owe me some money,' and Derreall said, 'I don't owe you money, because you spent the night in my house,'" said Jeffreys.

    Detectives said that's when Covington hit Robertson in the head with a blunt object.

    After the fight, police said Robertson might have been trying to stagger home, which was about 3/4 of a mile away. But he only made it about a block. Officers found him in the street a short time later. He later died at the hospital.

    Detectives arrested Covington about 12 hours later, not more than two blocks from the scene. Neighbors said he was hiding on a porch when officers arrived.

    "I hope he gets what he deserves," said Jeffreys.

    Police Chief Joe Privette said he hopes the arrest restores peace to his town.

    "If my memory serves me right, our last situation like this was either 1981 or 1982," he said.

    Police won't say why the two men were arguing about money. A record check shows that both the suspect and the victim have a long history of drug charges.

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    John Bachman, Reporter
    Bobbie Eng, Photographer
    Dana Franks, Web Editor

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