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Murder arrest made

JACKSON – A Murfreesboro teen is being held here without bond, charged in the slaying of a Potecasi man in November of last year.

Northampton County Sheriff’s Captain D.M. Harmon reported the arrest of Brandon Joyner, 18, of 651 Pinetop Road, Murfreesboro. Joyner was charged with one count of first degree murder in the Nov. 7, 2008 death of Anthonio Parker, 22 of Lot 27 in Potecasi Mobile Home Park.

Capt. Harmon said Joyner, who lives with his grandmother in Hertford County, was developed as a person of interest during the investigation that followed Parker’s death.

“We have physical evidence that ties him to this crime,” Harmon said.

The Sheriff’s Captain added that once Joyner’s whereabouts was determined, the suspect was contacted by Northampton authorities and asked to come to Jackson.

“His grandmother brought him to the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday (March 17) at which time he was served with the arrest warrant,” Harmon stated.

When asked if the murder was gang-related, Capt. Harmon said he could not say for sure at this time.

“We do know that the victim was found with a bandana, bearing the colors of a gang, in his rear pocket and we do that the defendant is known to be associated with a gang, but to put this together and say this murder was gang related, I just can’t say that for sure right now,” Harmon noted.

Parker’s lifeless body was discovered in a ditch by a couple out for an early-morning stroll on Nov. 7 as they walked along the Dusty Hill Road less than 100 yards from NC 35 near Potecasi.

An autopsy performed by the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Greenville revealed that Parker died as the result of a gunshot wound to the neck.

The North Carolina SBI assisted the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.

Joyner is scheduled to make his first court appearance today (Thursday) in Jackson.