Local News

Second Person Charged in Historic Site Fire

Posted April 10, 2008 12:57 p.m. EDT

— A second person was charged Thursday with setting fire to the home where former Gov. Charles B. Aycock was born, authorities said.

James Sean Suggs, 37, was charged with burning state or local government property. He was already serving time in the Pender County Correctional Facility for a separate offense.

Fire broke out in the main house at the Aycock Birthplace, which is a state historic site, in the early hours of Jan. 24. Damage was estimated at more than $200,000.

Durwood Eugene Smith III, 17, of 502 Wooten St. in Fremont, was arrested last Friday on a similar charge.

Aycock was born in the house near Fremont in 1859. He was elected governor in 1900 and focused on improving public education in North Carolina. Critics have claimed he promoted segregation and white supremacy.