Double homicide in Murfreesboro

Published 11:28 am Thursday, September 1, 2016

MURFREESBORO – A father and son are dead, victims of a double homicide here early Thursday morning.

Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan identified the victims as 59-year-old James Beale and 34-year-old Michael Scott Lassiter. Vaughan said the two men were found deceased inside a residence at 186 Pinetops Circle, located at Woodridge Mobile Home Park off Wises Store Road, northwest of Murfreesboro.

Both men died of gunshot wounds, the Sheriff stated. Their bodies were autopsied on Friday.

“We do not have a lot to go on right now as far as who committed this crime; we don’t know if there are more than one suspect,” Vaughan said.

The Sheriff added that the call came in to Hertford County 9-1-1 Dispatch at 2:11 a.m.

“A neighbor at the mobile home park reported hearing what sounded like a scuffle outside and then heard gunshots,” Vaughan said. “However, the two victims were discovered inside the home upon the arrival of my deputies.”

Those deputies, assisted by two officers with the Murfreesboro Police Department, went to the front door of the residence, finding it open, Vaughan reported. He added that they then went to the back door, entering to find one victim lying on the floor in a bedroom. The other victim was found lying on the kitchen floor.

“There was a firearm located on the floor adjacent to the victim we found in the kitchen,” Vaughan said. “As far as we can tell, that weapon had not been recently fired.”

The Sheriff added that the deputies also noted a vehicle in the yard.

“That vehicle was running; the front two windows were down, and there was music playing from inside that vehicle,” Vaughan stated. “We learned that the vehicle was not owned by either victim, but it was used by Mr. Lassiter.

“Again, we don’t have a lot of information concerning what was seen; all we basically have at this point is what was heard by the neighbor,” the Sheriff added. “The neighbor did not hear or see a vehicle arriving or leaving the residence.”

Vaughan is asking the public if they have any information on this double homicide to contact the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office at 252-358-7800. The identity of the caller is kept confidential.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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