Local News

Gas Station Clerk Charged In Teen's Slaying

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CLINTON, N.C. — A gas station clerk was charged Monday with being an accessory to the shooting death of a 16-year-old girl outside the station over Labor Day weekend, authorities said.

Tijuana Michelle Lesesne, 28, of Clinton, is charged with accessory after the fact to murder and obstructing justice.

Mercedes Wilson was slain outside a Sunoco station early on Sept. 2 when Lesesne argued with a group of teens hanging around after using the bathroom, authorities said.

Ben Strayhorn Jr., 24, of Clinton, was initially charged with first-degree murder in the case, but authorities said he now is charged with being an accessory after the fact and with obstruction. The murder charge against him would be dropped, authorities said.

Authorities had said Strayhorn drove up during the course of the argument outside the gas station and fired into the crowd. They now believe Lamar Demond Smith, 31, of Turkey, to be the gunman.

Smith is being sought by authorities, and warrants have been issued charging him with murder, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon.

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