Local News

Two held without bond in deaths of Orange store owner, retired deputy

Posted January 27, 2012 12:58 p.m. EST
Updated January 30, 2012 3:18 p.m. EST

— The two men charged with robbing a Cedar Grove thrift store on Wednesday and shooting the store owner and a retired deputy will spend the next couple of weeks in prison, held without bond on charges of first-degree murder.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office arrested Curtis White, 18, of 5922 Allie Mae Road in Cedar Grove, and Ladell Alverez Faucette, 22, of 5138 Apsley Drive in McLeansville, on Friday.

Deputies responded to the Week in Treasures store, at 2800 Mill Creek Road, on Wednesday afternoon and found two men inside with multiple gunshot wounds. Store owner Phillip Johnson, 52, was dead at the scene, and retired Orange County deputy Alexander "Skip" Wade, 68, died at Duke University Hospital.

An affidavit for a warrant to search White's home states that deputies found White and Faucette outside the store after the shooting and that the pair told police different stories. They confessed to investigators on Thursday, the affidavit states.

White and Faucette stole $200 from the store and were armed with a .22-caliber handgun, according to arrest warrants.

In a court appearance Friday afternoon, each man asked for a court-appointed defense attorney. Faucette will be held Raleigh's Central Prison for his protection, given the law enforcement connection of one of the victims. White was taken to the Polk Correctional Facility.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said no decision had been made about whether to seek the death penalty. Their next court date was set for Feb. 10.

White and Faucette also were charged with a second count of robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with a Tuesday armed robbery of Sam’s Food Mart, at 6321 U.S. Highway 70 West in Mebane, authorities said.

Arrest warrants state that they took a cash register drawer with $500 from the Mebane store and were armed with a small-caliber handgun. The cashier at the store was pregnant, according to the warrants.

Authorities say Wade retired about a decade ago from the sheriff's office. His son, Lemario Wade, was charged with murder in Mebane in 2010, but authorities said they don't believe his son's past is connected to his death.

The previous owner of the store, William King, was shot and killed there in 2004. King's death remains unsolved.