Local News

Funeral to be held Sunday for slain Four Oaks couple

Posted January 23, 2010 7:06 p.m. EST
Updated January 24, 2010 6:29 a.m. EST

— Relatives and friends are mourning the loss of a Four Oaks couple whose bodies were found earlier this week.

Barney Edward Gamble, 48, of King Mill Road in Four Oaks, was arrested Friday in the deaths of L.C. and Sue Anne Beasley.

The body of Sue Anne Beasley was found Thursday morning inside the couple's house at 125 Hollow Oak Drive, and her husband's body was found in a nearby shed.

Faye Beasley, Sue's sister, and her son, Danny, went to check on the couple after they hadn't been heard from. They saw smoke coming from the residence and called 911.

“I took the doorknob and turned it, and just turned the doorknob, and it just shattered the glass. It was a half-glass, (half)-wood door, and I knew something was wrong," Faye Beasley said.

Inside, Danny Beasley said, he found his aunt tied up in a chair in the kitchen. A couch inside the home was on fire.

After investigators arrived, they searched a nearby shed and found L.C. Beasley's body. Two .22-caliber shell casings were found on the floor next to his body, according to a search warrant.

Investigators have not released the cause death.

Gamble was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of first-degree kidnapping, arson and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Gamble was transferred from the Johnston County jail to Central Prison in Raleigh for safety reasons. He was being held Saturday without bond.

Relatives say Gamble knew the Beasleys and would often buy vegetables from them.

"You never know people,” Faye Beasley said. “I never thought he would do anything like that."

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said that Gamble and L.C. Beasley were known to dabble in drugs and that investigators were looking into whether drugs played a role in the slayings.

The Beasleys' funeral will be held Sunday at Oliver's Grove Baptist Church, 8715 U.S. Highway 301 in Four Oaks.