3 Charged in Fatal Convenience Store Robbery
Posted June 6, 2007 7:42 p.m. EDT
Updated June 8, 2007 8:59 a.m. EDT
Warrenton, N.C. — Two of three men charged with the shooting death of a Warren County store clerk last month were already in jail on unrelated charges, authorities said Thursday.
They said it was information from an unrelated crime that led investigators to charge the trio with the shooting of a Warrenton store clerk.
Michael Junior Harris, 27, of Henderson, and Bobby Earl Williams, 21, of Louisburg, were in the Franklin County Jail facing charges of aiding and abetting in a drive-by shooting on May 21 in Franklinton, officials said.
On Wednesday, authorities charged them first-degree murder in the May 18 death of Randy Terrell.
Jimmy Lee Williams, 24, of Louisburg, was also arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder. Each suspect also faces charges of robbery.
Authorities said that although the suspects hid their faces during the May 18 fatal robbery at Pa-Pa's Country Store off U.S. Highway 401 in Warrenton, investigators were able to link them to the crime because the description of the vehicle at the drive-by shooting fit the description of the one leaving the scene of the robbery.
"So, we started piecing things together," Franklin County Sheriff Pat Green said. "My lieutenant actually identified two of the suspects by the way they conducted themselves, how they walked."
Investigators said they think the shooting might have been gang-related, but are still looking into that possibility.
"We believe that we have a good solid case – that if the prosecutor would like to prosecute, what we have, we believe that we could get the death penalty out of it," Warren County Sheriff Johnny Williams said.
Surveillance video from the store shows Terrell working behind the counter when three masked men walk in shortly after 9 p.m. One has a sawed-off shotgun and the other two have rifles.
They demanded money, authorities said, and within a matter of seconds, a thief with a rifle shot Terrell, who was substituting for a co-worker, as he struggled with the thief with the shotgun.
"I don't think it would have mattered who the clerk at the store was that night," Green said. "I think whoever was there would have been shot and killed."
The video also shows the robbers rummaging through drawers after Terrell was shot, then running out of the store. They escaped with about $900, authorities said.
Authorities said Thursday that Bobby Earl Williams was also previously paroled for an armed robbery conviction.
All three men are related to one another, but authorities have not said in what way.