Gunfire at a Johnston County home on Sunday killed Derrick Lester Williams, who was facing a second-degree murder charge after his girlfriend died when they were handling a gun in May.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to a house at 527 Slate Top Road, south of Clayton, about 3:30 a.m. Sunday and found Williams dead, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Tammy Amaon said.
There had been no arrests in the case by Monday, Amaon said.
Wilson’s Mills police arrested Williams, 41, on May 2 after he called them to his home at 92 Mitchner Drive. His girlfriend, Moesha Lockamy, 18, had been shot, and medics could not revive her.
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Police Chief David Hess said Lockamy and Williams were dating, and investigators believed the two “were playing with the firearm when it discharged.”
Williams had been scheduled for a court hearing in the case on Wednesday. He also had a court date Aug. 18 on a misdemeanor marijuana-possession charge.
Lockamy’s grandmother, Deborah McKoy, said she was shocked when she heard about Williams’ death. She said her family wanted justice to be served in court.
“We are praying for the Williams family; our hearts go out to them,” McKoy said. “We are loving people and never wanted to see anybody hurt, but justice served.”
The Rev. Terence Leathers of Mt. Vernon Christian Church in Clayton said Lockamy’s death was one of the driving factors behind an anti-domestic violence rally he helped organize on July 8. The rally was the first part of a larger movement to put an end to abuse, he said.
“For some people, this was a quick and easy solution, but the actuality of the situation is that Moesha’s life is still gone,” Leathers said. “I hate to see anybody lose their life.”