List of current and past Carteret County murder investigations and conviction in NC. All suspects listed and not convicted of a crime should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If you know of a murder case in the county not listed here, please CONTACT US$a>
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March 21, 2022
Deputies arrested 20 year old Joshua Clauson of Newport, NC with the alleged murder of 46 year old Daniel Brisson after Mr. Brisson was found along a roadway in Newport, NC deceased on March 20th. Joshua Clauson was booked in to the county jail on one count of murder and has no bond. However, he does have a 1st appearance in court on the 22nd where a judge could order a bond amount be set. Other charges show that he had a failure to appear (FTA) on felony probation charges.
December 8, 2021
District Attorney Scott Thomas announced second degree murder charges (by drug distribution) for Jonathan Davis Norman of Gloucester, and Willis Carroll Nelson of Harkers Island after the local DA alleged that Norman and Nelson supplied fentanyl laced opiates to a female which resulted in her overdose death. Jonathan Norman and Willis Nelson were charged on December 8, 2021 and are currently in jail on $500,000 bond amounts.
Off The Hook Restaurant & Bar Overdose Death Results In Arrests
On October 1, 2021, Morehead City Police announced that Jeremy Wilson, age 31, and Preston Brungard, age 23, were charged with 2nd degree murder stemming from a May 2021 overdose death at Off The Hook Restaurant and Bar. Two others were charged with Involuntary Manslaughter and drug charges stemming from the death. Jeremy Wilson and Preston Brungard received $500,000 secured bonds. This is an ongoing investigation.
September 23, 2021 – Homicide Investigation In Down East Otway
Sheriff’s department is investigating an alleged homicide on September 23, 2021 in down east near Otway where they say Mickey Dixon, age 48, was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Reports indicate the alleged shooter is a family member who is cooperating. No other information was given considering the early stages of the investigation.
August 31st, 2021 – Incident In Newport NC Involving Elderly Couple Prompts Investigation On Bobby’s Drive
The local sheriff’s department is currently involved in an ongoing investigation of an alleged murder / suicide on August 31st, 2021. Information received indicates a man made a phone call to a family member who said he was going to shoot his wife, then himself. Reports also indicate the wife was dealing with serious medical conditions and the husband became despondent in caring for his wife. Officials have not released any other information pending notification of family members.
July 24, 2021 Investigation Surrounding The Death Of An Infant
Carteret County authorities and the local district attorney charged Mellony Mciver, age 20, with second degree murder and Zackery Phelps, age 26, with second degree murder without regard stemming from the death of an infant in the county. Both Mciver and Phelps should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, or either accepts a plea deal. Both are under a one million dollar bond.
U.S. Army Paratrooper SPC Enrique Roman-Martinez
Cape Lookout National Seashore officials received word in May 2020 of a missing Ft Bragg U.S Army soldier who was visiting the island with a group. During the night, SPC Roman-Martinez reportedly walked away from the group and his remains were found 4 days later by Cape Lookout rangers. An investigation in to this alleged murder continues as of September 2020.
Deadly Shooting In 2020 At Oceanana Motel
Travis Bunch of Smithfield NC was fatally shot at Oceanana Motel on May 30th, 2020 after police allege that another man shot him with a handgun. Active murder warrants were issued for Shaquille Carter.
Murder Suicide Near Sam Hatcher Road And Nine Mile Road
In May of 2020, Mark Muench and his mother were found in a parked car near Sam Hatcher Road and Nine Mile Rd dead of gunshot wounds. An investigation revealed that the murder-suicide was pre-planned.
Fatal Shooting In Emerald Isle NC
January 19, 2020 update: Patrick Keith-Reich Whitley was apprehended in Corpus Christi by the U.S. Marshal Service and charged with first degree murder and first degree arson for the January 9th house fire and fatal shooting of Carl Jones Jr.
Police say Patrick Whitley is being held without bond and they are processing paperwork for extradition back to North Carolina.
January 2020 – Emerald Isle NC Police are investigating a fatal shooting where a 31 year old man by the name of Carl Eugene Jones, age 31, was found shot inside a burning home on Melanie Street. Police noted they have questioned one person but have not released any more information. Police have not stated if this is a murder investigation. We will update as we learn more.
Double Murder / Suicide In Newport NC
On October 30, 2019, the local Sheriff’s Department was investigating a domestic altercation that turned deadly when a man shot another man in the home, then shot and killed his sister-in-law before killing himself in a suicide. Another woman in the home was not hurt. The Sheriff’s Department has not released the names of all involved. This incident happened at 548 Newport Loop Road.
On October 31, local investigators released names of those involved in this murder and they include Mark Throckmorton (shooter, suicide), Dante Grassi (victim), and Beatrice Grassi (victim).
In April of 2018, April Harvey called 911 to report an incident at her mothers home in Cedar Point. When detectives arrived, they found her 77 mother dead of a gunshot wound. Upon investigation, detective recovered a handgun that was allegedly used as the murder weapon. Detectives also say the incident involved a financial dispute between the alleged suspect and her mother. April Harvey was charged with murder and given no bond.
James Durner In The Alleged Death of Casey Orr
In 2018, James Durner was charged with one open count of murder in the shooting death of Casey Orr in Newport, NC. Police allege some kind of altercation happened between the two men which led to the alleged shooting at the Hostess House. James Durner is currently in the Carteret County jail on no bond. In September of 2021, James Durner was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to a maximum of 11 years and 10 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections.
Lewis Victor Branche III
Lewis Branche is charged with one open county of murder and one count of concealing a death in a case that involved Kristen Bennett whom he was dating at the time of the alleged homicide. Branche was arrested in October 2018 after Carteret County investigations led to information that brought about the arrest warrant. The victim in this matter was the subject of an intense missing persons manhunt for weeks in the county.
In April of 2022, Trey Branche was convicted of 1st degree in Superior Court and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
James “Bootsie” Patterson of Beaufort NC
As of October 2018, James Patterson is charged with one count of homicide after a shooting in Beaufort, NC which lead to the death of Glen Henderson. The suspect is currently in jail on no bond.
Murder / Suicide Suspected For Pauly Lewis and wife Alicia Lewis
Carteret County NC detectives responded to Otway, NC during active Hurricane Florence conditions to find Pauly Lewis and Alicia Lewis dead in what law enforcement said was an apparent murder / suicide.
David Isaiah Godwin In The Alleged Death of Wendy Rae Tamagne in Morehead City, NC
In 2016, David Godwin was charged with an open count of murder in Carteret County after turning himself in to Oregon police saying that he was “wanted for murder” in NC. Police allege that Godwin beat, stabbed, strangled and dismembered Wendy Tamagne at Country Club Apartments in Morehead City, NC. The murder trial of David Godwin started on April 1, 2019.
Leonard Floyd Yeomans Convicted of Murder in The Death of Valerie Piner Yeomans and Dennis Neal Harvey
In 2015, Leonard Yeomans was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder in the death Valerie Piner (former wife) and her boyfriend Dennis Harvey. The Yeomans were separated by one year at the time of the murder. Police say Leonard Yeomans walked in to the Carteret County magistrates office with guns he killed the pair with and confessed to the killings. He was sentenced to two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.
Jhaden Davis was convicted of two counts of first degree murder in July 2017 and was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. According to the State of NC, At the time of the homicide, Jhaden Davis was a corpsmen at Camp Lejeune, NC.
Michael Becker and April Guthrie Charged In The Overdose Death of Kendal Walbert
In 2016, Michael Becker and April Guthrie were charged with second degree murder after law enforcement say the pair sold heroin to the deceased in 2014 which lead to his overdose death. The alleged incident happened in Newport, NC. In 2017, facing second degree murder, the jury found her guilty of involuntary manslaughter and she was sentenced to 43 to 69 months in prison. No word on the disposition of Michael Becker.
Stephen Woodrow Hutson Charged With Homicide of 60 Year Old Wilbur Wright Blackford
In 2014, Stephen Hutson was charged with one open count of homicide in the death of Wilbur Blackford after police found the man dead of blunt force trauma at his home in Morehead City, NC. There are no news reports if this case was tried in court and a determination of guilt or innocence was found.
Our list of current and past Carteret County murder investigations and convictions will be updated as we learn about other incidents.