Sheriff probes Colerain murder

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, March 24, 2009

COLERAIN – One man is dead and another in Pitt Memorial Hospital after an early Sunday morning incident.

According to Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins, his department received a call at approximately 5 a.m. Sunday and responded to 103 Askew Street, Colerain.

“Several people had broken into a home there,” Sheriff Atkins said. “The suspects reportedly left on foot.”

Deputies found Ned Freeman, also of Askew Street, with a gunshot wound and he was sent to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville for treatment.

“Our deputies did a crime scene investigation and left,” the sheriff reported. “Roughly two hours later, another call came in at the home next door to the first incident.”

That home was Freeman’s residence, according to the sheriff. When deputies responded, they found the body of Larry Harrell, 54, who had also been living at the residence.

“They found Mr. Harrell dead with an apparent gunshot wound,” Sheriff Atkins said.

The sheriff said the investigation indicated three or four people may have been involved in the incident.

“Obviously, it’s only speculation at this point, but I believe they are related incidents,” Sheriff Atkins said in regards to the shooting victims.

The sheriff also said his office would appreciate any information that citizens could provide about the murder.

“We would appreciate any information that may be out there,” Sheriff Atkins said. “We’re asking people to call us or the State Bureau of Investigation.”

The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 794-5330 or the SBI at 800-334-3000.