Colerain man charged with murder

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WINDSOR – One Bertie County man is dead and another is behind bars following a murder near Perrytown early Monday morning.

Bertie Sheriff Greg Atkins reported the arrest of Horace Leon Sessoms, 46, of 117 Holley Road, Colerain. Sessoms was charged with first degree murder in the death of Willie Mason Bell, 36, 303 NC 45, Merry Hill.

Bell’s lifeless body was found lying on Farless Road by Bertie County Sheriff’s deputies at approximately 4 a.m. Monday.

Sessoms, who was an immediate suspect in the case, is being held without bond in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail. His first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

Law enforcement officers were summoned to the scene, located between Perrytown and NC 45 in the northeastern part of the county, following a call placed to the Bertie Sheriff’s Dispatch Center.

“From the information we gathered from witnesses, there may have been a fight between Mr. Bell and a person we believe to be Mr. Sessoms,” Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. “We conducted an interview with Mr. Sessoms, but he chose not to make a statement and asked for an attorney.”

The Sheriff added there was no obvious cause of death.

“From looking at the body, there were no obvious external injuries, we are unsure as of this time as to the cause of death,” Atkins said.

Bell’s body has been sent off for autopsy.

“We may know something as early as Tuesday as to how Mr. Bell died,” the Sheriff stated.

According to witnesses, the alleged fight took place in a parking lot located in front of an auto repair garage at 210 Farless Road. Atkins reported there was reason to believe that the garage may be a “shot house” – a place that illegally serves alcoholic beverages. The Sheriff summoned the assistance of North Carolina ALE (Alcohol Law Enforcement) to investigate the alleged “shot house.” Following that investigation, ALE issued a citation to Damian Antoine Spruill, 35, of Dewdrop Road, Colerain, for selling alcohol without a license.

Sheriff Atkins also confirmed that Bell was a convicted sex offender and registered as the same in Bertie County, convicted for that offense in April of 2005.