Local News

One arrested, one wanted in fatal Halifax home invasion

Posted January 23, 2011 7:49 a.m. EST
Updated January 29, 2011 11:30 a.m. EST

— Halifax County sheriff's deputies arrested one man early Sunday and were searching for another wanted in connection with a fatal home invasion outside Roanoke Rapids a day earlier.

Lester Kearney and Brandon Watson broke into a home on Ward Drive shortly after midnight Friday and shot three men, according to Maj. Bruce Temple, with the sheriff's office.

Antonio Jerold Mills, 29, was shot repeatedly and died of his injuries. More details of the case, including a motive and the names of the other victims, haven't been released.

Temple said that Kearney was arrested early Sunday at a Chapel Hill home by Halifax deputies, State Bureau of Investigation agents and town police officers.

Watson remains at large. Temple cautioned that he is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on Watson's whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at 252-583-1991 or Crime Stoppers at 252-583-4444.

Kearney faces one count each of murder, shooting into an occupied dwelling and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill.

He was placed in the Halifax County jail and denied bond. His first court appearance was set for Monday.

Kearney has spent four of the past six years serving prison sentences for convictions including second-degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, according to state Department of Correction records. He also racked up 15 infractions in prison, including two each for assault a person with a weapon and involvement with a gang.