Three North Carolinians Charged After Mayor, Wife Found Dead In Their Home

The mayor of Leggett, North Carolina, Gary Skelton and his wife, Jackie Skelton, were found dead in their homes; Keith Earl Williams has been charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Three have been arrrested after the mayor of a small town in North Carolina and his wife were found dead in their home.

Keith Earl Williams, 25, has been charged with first-degree murder in the case, and 18-year-old Mitchell Brinson was also charged with first-degree murder. Dakeithia Nesha Andrews, 30, was charged for conspiring to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and is believed to be connected to the deaths, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Deputies had discovered the bodies during a welfare check on their property, Edgecombe County Sheriff Cleveland “Clee” Atkinson Jr. explained at a press conference on September 7. The missing person report had been filed after Jackie Skelton did not arrive at work at the Vidant Edgecombe Hospital that morning.

“A missing person report was generated and deputies and detectives began investigating,” Atkinson said. “We were able to solve this double homicide in less than eight hours.”

Records show that Williams had been released on parole from state prison on August 28. He had been serving sentences for possession of a firearm by a felon and assault with a deadly weapon. He was convicted of those crimes in April 2017. Before that, Williams was convicted of felony larceny and put on probation in March 2013. His probation was revoked in 2014, landing him in jail.

A motivation for the killing has not been discussed by police or in reports. The charges suspect Andrews faces suggests the killing may have been the result of a botched burglary.

Michael Cloer of the Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, who had been the Skeltons' pastor for 15 years, fondly remembered the duo.

"They came here because they wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle," Cloer said to ABC 11, a Raleigh, North Carolina-based ABC affiliate. "They bought a big home, remodeled it, they loved to entertain guests, they were just outgoing, friendly, community people."

Town commissioner Teresa Summerlin also spoke highly of the deceased couple.

“I can’t say enough good about them,” Summerlin said to the Charlotte Observer. “They were the epitome of good people .... It’s devastating. It’s nauseating. This community has lost two very special people ... He was putting his heart into this town. This is heart-breaking news."

An investigation into the deaths is ongoing.

Leggett is a town approximately 7 miles northwest of Tarboro. It has a population of 55, according to the Charlotte Observer.

[Photo: Keith Williams (left), Mitchell Brinson (middle), Dakeithia Nesha Andrews (right) via Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office]

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