Caldner Jean Ellison, 22, of Gardenia Ave., was charged with first-degree murder, police said.
Officers responding to a report of a suspicious person with a gun on Bragg Boulevard took a woman into custody in the parking lot of M&M Leather, at 4400 Bragg Blvd., at about 3:15 a.m., police said. Officers then found the body of Michael Dion Phillips, 30, of Baystone Road in Fayetteville, behind the business.
No other information was released, such as a possible motive or whether there was any relationship between Ellison and Phillips.
"It's a shock because it's not like CeeCee to do anything like this," said Katie McPherson, who lives down the street from Ellison's grandmother, where Ellison used to stay. "My husband had a heart attack roughly three weeks ago, and being CeeCee – the type of person she was – she came straight over to check to see if there was anything she could do."
Ellison has been convicted of misdemeanor breaking and entering and possession of drug paraphernalia charges and has pending charges of misdemeanor larceny and possession of stolen goods, according to court records.
McPherson said Ellison had gotten caught up in the street life, but she never expected to see her former neighbor charged with murder.
"CeeCee is a caring, loving person, but she's like everybody else. She gets upset, you know," she said. "She was doing good, the way I see it and everything, you know. But I don't know what happened, why this took place or whatever."
Police asked for the public's help to find any relatives of Phillips so they could notify the family of his death.
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