Local News

Authorities: Wife Killed Hours Before Husband Called 911

Posted February 14, 2007 6:23 a.m. EST
Updated February 14, 2007 7:42 p.m. EST

— A Wendell woman died after being cut Monday evening -- hours before her husband called 911 to report her slaying, authorities said Wednesday.

Nneka Wilson, 24, died sometime before midnight Monday inside her 6637 Eagles Crossing Drive home, authorities said. Her husband, Jakiem Willson, called 911 at about 6 a.m. Tuesday, claiming that he found her dead on the kitchen floor, along with a threatening message scrawled in her blood.

"It is obvious that he was not readily confessing to the crime. He portrayed a set of circumstances that he thought would allow him to escape the crime. We picked it apart," said Chief Richard Johnson of the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

A sobbing Wilson told a 911 dispatcher: "I just came in the door, and the back door is kicked in and my wife is on the kitchen floor. I haven't even checked on my kids yet."

He told the dispatcher that a bloody message said, "Your (expletive) is dead. You're next."

But authorities believe the call was staged.

Nneka Wilson was dead for between six and 16 hours before the 911 call, authorities said. They haven't released a description of the murder weapon.

"Sometimes, suspects try to cover their own tracks, and they make decisions to do certain things," Johnson said. "I'm not sure why he did it."

After hours of questioning Tuesday, investigators viewed Jakiem Wilson less as a grieving husband and more as the prime suspect in the case.

"He had the chance to leave many, many times, and he stayed with us all day and we questioned him all day trying to get different factors straight. Ultimately, it added up to us making this case," Johnson said.

Wilson has been charged with first-degree murder in his wife's death and is being held in the Wake County Jail without bond.

Jamie Russell Holder, 18, of 1418 Old Buck Horn Road in Garner, and Roderick Ryan Howell, 17, of 1337 Hodge Road in Knightdale, were charged with being accessories after the fact of murder. Each is being held on a $2 million bond.

"They assisted after the fact in the cleaning of the house and the cover-up of the crime," Johnson said. "After talking with them, we gained information that led to the recovery of items that were either in or removed from the crime scene during the crime."

Investigators spent most of Tuesday collecting evidence. They said they found items taken from the home nearby, behind an abandoned service station at the corner of Martin Pond Road and Eagle Rock Road.

Howell blew his family a kiss as he left a courtroom Wednesday after his initial appearance. His family said he was coerced into participating in the crime.

"When they walked in there, (Wilson) told him, 'If you don't do what I tell you to do, in so many words, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that,'" Ronald Howell said of his son. "I feel like he was up against a gun or something. I don't know, but that wasn't him."

Ronald Howell said the criminal charge is out of character for his son.

"For the most part, he's not a bad kid, but sometimes it's just getting caught up with the wrong people," he said. "My prayers go out to (Nneka Wilson's family). I apologize for the incident."

Authorities haven't released a possible motive for the slaying. But Nneka Wilson's family said she was a victim of domestic violence.

James Hill, her stepfather, said the couple argued often and that she would often stay with him after an argument.

The Wilsons' children were found unharmed inside the house Tuesday morning, authorities said. They are now staying with relatives.