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Murder charges filed in wake of Friday shooting

AHOSKIE – Cola Terrell Harrell, 29 of Ahoskie, stands formally charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of another Ahoskie man on Friday morning.

Harrell is being held without the privilege of bond in the homicide of 33-year-old Dwight Nathaniel Saunders.

The Ahoskie Police also charged Harrell with one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to the NC Department of Public Safety, Harrell has an extensive arrest record dating back to 2007. Six of his previous 12 arrests have been for possession of illegal narcotics. Those charges were filed in Bertie, Martin and Pitt counties.

The motive behind Friday’s murder is still part of the ongoing investigation, according to Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh.

Fitzhugh said his officers arrived at the scene at 8:25 a.m. – finding a man collapsed and unresponsive in the street, in an area behind Southern Bank.

Despite the repeated CPR efforts of numerous Hertford County EMS personnel, Saunders died at the scene.

One nearby residence had crime scene tape in the front yard. Fitzhugh said his officers noticed something suspicious there and a search warrant for that residence was obtained Friday afternoon. Fitzhugh said the evidence collected from that residence greatly benefitted the investigation.

The Police Chief added that Harrell was quickly developed as a person of interest in the shooting.

“I would like to thank all of my staff and K-9 for their hard work and being able to make an arrest,” Fitzhugh stated. “In addition, I would like to thank Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and the K-9 Officer, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Ahoskie Fire Department, Hertford County Emergency Management, and Hertford County Emergency Medical Services.”

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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