A Selma woman has been charged with killing a Wilson’s Mills man she accused of sexual assault in 2013.
Annie Marie Artis, 42, who lives on Oak Street in Selma, was charged Tuesday in the fatal shooting of 41-year-old Derrick Williams.
At 3:38 a.m. Sunday, deputies found Williams dead outside a house on Slate Top Road near Clayton. They say Williams, who was facing a murder charge of his own, was shot several times during a party.
Deputies investigating the shooting haven’t released any information about a motive. However, they say Williams’ death is not related to his own murder charge.
In 2013, Artis accused Williams of sexual assault in a report filed with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, according to a search warrant. But detectives didn’t find enough evidence to charge Williams with sexual assault, the warrant said.
Upon arriving at the shooting scene on Sunday, detectives learned a woman was heard saying something like, “You won’t rape anyone else,” the warrant said.
When detectives questioned Artis, she said she attended the party at 527 Slate Top Road, also known as the Shugga Shack to locals. Artis told detectives she did see Williams at the party, but they did not speak and have not spoken since she filed the sexual assault report in 2013, she said.
Artis told detectives she didn’t hear gun shots but saw everyone running, so she started running, got in her truck and left.
Artis was being held without bail in the Johnston County Jail late Wednesday. Her next court date is Aug. 6.
“Detectives have worked tirelessly on this murder investigation, which is ongoing, with the possibility of additional arrests,” Sheriff Steve Bizzell said in a statement.
Williams, who lived on Mitchner Drive in Wilson’s Mills, was supposed to appear in court this week on a murder charge.
Williams was arrested May 2 after he called Wilson’s Mills police to his home. His girlfriend, Moesha Lockamy, 18, had been shot, and paramedics could not revive her.
At the time of the May shooting, Lockamy and Williams were dating, police said, and investigators believed the two “were playing with the firearm when it discharged.” Williams was charged with second-degree murder.
Williams had been scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday. In light of his death, the court will now issue an order of abatement that will stop proceedings, said Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle.
While police called the May shooting an accident, Lockamy’s family said she was a victim of domestic violence.
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, pastor of Mt. Vernon Christian Church in Clayton, said Lockamy’s death was one of the driving forces behind an anti-domestic violence rally he helped organize on July 8. The rally was the first step in 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.”
After being arrested, Williams posted a $100,000 bond on May 2 and was released from jail. When considering the amount of the bond, a magistrate wrote that Williams cooperated with police and gave Lockamy first aid and CPR until first responders arrived.
Court records say Williams pointed what he thought was an unloaded gun at Lockamy and pulled the trigger. A warrant shows that police think the shot that killed Lockamy was a “contact shot,” meaning the muzzle of the gun was in direct contact with her body when it fired.
Bob Denning, Williams’ attorney, said he thought it was clear no malice was involved in the May shooting.
Denning said Williams was sorry about what happened and discussed expressing his grief to Lockamy’s family several times.
“It’s difficult to encounter people you have hurt in such a way,” Denning said. “He was incredibly torn up about that.”
Staff writer John Hamlin contributed to this report.