Local News

Homicide Victim Found In Sampson County

Posted January 3, 2006 9:53 a.m. EST

— South Carolina state troopers say bloody clothes worn by a driver during a traffic stop helped investigators solve the killing of a Sampson County woman before her body was discovered.

Authorities said Christopher Terry was driving erratically when they pulled him over. He was found to be driving a stolen car. Terry's shirt was covered in blood and the officer asked if he was hurt.

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    The guy made a confession at that point," said Dorchester County Sheriff's Lt. Tom Marshall.

    Terry told the trooper he had killed 83-year-old Alice West McNair in her Newton Grove, N.C., home. He was driving her car and a gun was found under the seat, Marshall said.

    Sampson County authorities believe Terry stole the car from McNair's home on Oak Grove Church Road in Newton Grove. When they showed up to investigate, deputies found her dead inside..

    "The sad part is Ms. McNair had been at church or left church around 1 p.m. with family and friends, and that was the last time they saw her," said Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton.

    Terry told investigators he was heading to Miami, Marshall said. He also allegedly confessed to the homicide and told police that he had sexually assaulted the victim.

    "If that trooper had not stopped him, there's no telling when that sheriff's department would have gotten the call to go look for the victim and do a welfare check," Marshall said. "He would have had a two or three day start on them. There's no telling where he would have been."

    Terry is currently in jail in South Carolina, awaiting an extradition hearing on Tuesday to be returned to North Carolina on murder charges. Investigators don't believe the two knew each other. McNair was a retired teacher with the Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh.