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  • Deputies identify both men killed in Onslow County home invasion

    By WCTI Staff
    Published On: Sep 30 2014 01:46:35 AM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 30 2014 06:37:32 PM CDT

    Investigators have released the names of both men killed during a home invasion in Onslow County early Tuesday morning. They say the intruder killed the homeowner, but another person inside the residence then killed the suspect.

    The Onslow County Sheriff's Office said 19-year-old Willie Ware, of Hubert, was the intruder who went to 21-year-old Jeremiah Dawayn Hilton's home on Riggs Road in Hubert. It happened at about 1:21 a.m. Tuesday.

    Hilton and his wife were living at the home, along with his wife's four children.

    Ware allegedly shot and killed Hilton, but another person inside the home then shot and killed Ware, according to the Sheriff's Office. Both men were found dead with gunshot wounds inside the home when deputies arrived at the scene.

    Investigators are now saying that Ware was the only intruder in the home invasion. They had previously said that there were several intruders.

    The Sheriff's Office said it is working closely with District Attorney Ernie Lee to determine if criminal charges will be filed. Anyone with information is asked to call the Onslow County Sheriff's Office at 910-455-3113 or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273.

    Investigators said they interviewed between eight to 10 people to determine a motive for the shooting. But the interviewees gave conflicting statements, authorities said.

    Crime scene investigators remained at Hilton's home until Tuesday afternoon. Authorities seized six dogs from the residence.

    NewsChannel 12 was told Hilton's wife and her four children have left the home and are staying with family members.


    Hilton attended White Oak High School in Jacksonville. His mother, Kristina Hilton, gave her reaction to her son's death.

    "This world, this world is evil," said Kristina Hilton. "Lets have some peace, let's love. Forgive, forget, let's love one another and care and help each other instead of being against each other because it's not getting us anywhere. This right here is the icing on the cake for me."

    NewsChannel 12 also talked with Brandon Fenwick, a friend of Jeremiah Hilton. Fenwick said he met Hilton when they were growing up in the Queens Haven area of Hubert.

    "He kind of just put me under his wing, knowing that I was kind of fragile from my father stuff. But that's how we first met," Fenwick recalled. "We would play basketball and just go around the neighborhood riding bikes and just having a good time."

    Fenwick told NewsChannel 12 how he learned about his friend's death.

    "I woke up [Tuesday] morning with my mom calling me, crying, saying Jeremiah has passed away and at first, I thought maybe a car accident," said Fenwick. "But Ashley told me how he passed away. It just told me how big of a character he was. He was protecting his family."

    Jeremiah Hilton was scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 6 for a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, according to online records.


    Ware was previously arrested in connection to a string of burglaries in Onslow County, most of which happened on Christmas Eve 2013, said deputies. More than 30 wrapped Christmas presents were stolen, but investigators said they were able to recover some of the stolen goods.

    Ware was also a football player at Swansboro High School who played fullback and linebacker.

    "He was a good kid for us. It's tough thinking he lost his way. Sad, " said Swansboro Head Coach Tim Laspada.


    The Sheriff's Office said deputies believe the deadly shooting was an isolated incident and the public is not in any danger. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is assisting with the case because there is a possible military connection, an official said.

    The Highway Patrol was on scene early Tuesday morning to block off Riggs Road. But the road has since been reopened.

  • El's Drive-In, years in the rumor mill

    By Kyle Horan
    Published On: Sep 29 2014 05:42:17 PM CDT

    For years, one Morehead City restaurant has found itself in the center of a rumor mill.

    El's Drive In is a well known seafood and burger restaurant located on Highway 70. It's known for its window side service, but it's also the center of much speculation.

    For what could be 20 years, the owners have had to deal with the same inquiry; has the restaurant been bought out? The answer is always the same: No.

    "It's news to us even though we hear the rumor almost daily sometimes," said co-owner Gail Franks. "In fact I just had a message from an old friend on Facebook and she said, 'tell me it's not so.'"

    The owners have a joke, every time someone asks if the restaurant was purchased, they say "how much did we get this time?"

    "There's really no truth to that rumor," Franks said. "My husband and I are the second generation owners and our son is the third. We plan to be here a long time."

    El's Drive In was first opened in 1959. As long as the current owners are in charge, it's not going anywhere.

  • Police ID woman fatally hit by vehicle at Lenoir Memorial Hospital parking lot

    By Ashley Koch, Producer
    Published On: Sep 29 2014 10:20:58 PM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 30 2014 09:39:15 AM CDT

    Investigators have released the name of an elderly woman who died after she was hit by a vehicle in the parking of Lenoir Memorial Hospital Monday night.

    According to the Kinston Department of Public Safety, a vehicle pulling out of a parking space hit 83-year-old Ruby Dail Bartlett, of Camelot Drive in Kinston. The accident happened at about 7:15 p.m. Monday in the parking area near the Wellness Center of the hospital.

    Bartlett was taken to the Emergency Department, where she was pronounced dead a short time later, police said.

    No charges have been filed against the driver of the vehicle.


    A woman was hit by a car and killed in the parking lot of Lenoir Memorial Hospital.

    Commander Fred Darden with the Kinston Department of Public Safety said a woman was hit in the parking lot of the hospital when a hospital visitor was pulling out of a parking space.

    The victim's name hasn't been released yet.

    It happened around 7 p.m. Monday night.

    No charges have been filed yet, but officials are still investigating.

  • Onslow County woman accused of abducting 3-year-old girl

    By WCTI Staff
    Published On: Sep 30 2014 11:10:30 AM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 30 2014 05:37:15 PM CDT

    An Onslow County woman is facing charges for allegedly saying she's a DSS worker to abduct a 3-year-old girl, investigators said.

    According to warrants from the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested 43-year-old Jeanette L . Medleycott-Lopez, of Holly Ridge, on Monday. She is charged with abduction of children (felony) and impersonating law enforcement (misdemeanor).

    The warrants say Medleycott-Lopez approached Jonathan Davis, of Hubert, on May 22 and claimed she was a DSS worker and a court advocate for children. Medleycott-Lopez threatened to call law enforcement if Davis didn't give his 3-year-old daughter to her, the warrants state.

    Davis gave NewsChannel 12 his account of what happened. He said Medleycott-Lopez was accompanied by the mother of his child when they knocked on his door. Davis said he believed Medleycott-Lopez when she claimed to be a DSS worker. Davis said he then handed his 3-year-old daughter to the two women.

    Davis said he knew his daughter's mother was planning to leave the area, so he called DSS to find out how to legally get his daughter back. But an official told him DSS never took his child, Davis recalled.

    The DSS then contacted law enforcement.

    Davis said when he was in court, he saw that his 3-year-old daughter was with another family-- one he did not recognize. Davis told NewsChannel 12 he believes his child was put up for adoption without him knowing, and that the girl had been under the care of the other family since May. Davis also claimed his child's mother and the suspect received money for the adoption.

    The Onslow County Sheriff's Office has not confirmed Davis' account of what happened. Davis has since been reunited with his 3-year-old daughter.

    NewsChannel 12 went to both Medleycott-Lopez's home and business Tuesday to get her side of the story. No one answered her front door, but a woman at the business said she could not comment.

    Medley-Lopez did post the following message on Facebook:

    "I have seen the posts. Heard the gossip, now let me tell you what happened. [Monday], I was charged with impersonating a social worker and kidnapping a child. a 19-year-old came to me and said she could not take care of her kids. I helped her 'legally.'

    "The father of one child got mad and pressed charges against me, although the mom took the child from the house and put her in the car. I did nothing wrong here, didn't even want to post this. but rumors are flying because of who I am in the community."

    Medleycott-Lopez posted a $50,000 bond and appeared in Onslow County District Court Tuesday morning.

  • Family identifies 5-year-old killed in grain cart accident in Beaufort County

    By WCTI Staff
    Published On: Sep 29 2014 11:27:49 AM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 29 2014 04:21:13 PM CDT

    Family members have identified a 5-year-old boy who was killed after falling into a grain cart in Beaufort County.

    Colby Gray Williamson died in the accident Saturday evening, his family said. It happened at their home on Wharton Station Road, about 7-and-a-half miles north of Washington.

    Colby was on top of the grain cart when farm workers began to load grain into it, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. The 5-year-old then fell into the cart, sunk into the grain, and was unable to breathe.

    Deputies responded at about 7 p.m. Saturday. The Sheriff's Office said workers tried to get the preschooler out of the grain cart, but could not immediately reach him.

    At his home, friends and relatives filed in and out to pay respects. The Williamson family called the death of their 5-year-old son a tragic accident, but declined to comment further.

    Colby was born in Pitt County on Sept. 21, 2009, according to his obituary. He attended preschool at First United Methodist Church.

    The obituary says Colby was known as "Mama's Candy Monster." He was always in a good mood, loved his family's farm, and enjoyed fishing and hunting, the obituary says.

    Colby is survived by his parents, older brother, younger brother, maternal and paternal grandparents, and other family members.

    The family will receive friends from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Paul Funeral Home and Crematory in Washington.

    Colby's funeral services are scheduled to be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at the Old Ford Church of Christ, located at 6040 U.S. Highway 17 North in Washington. His burial will be private at the Williamson Family Cemetery.

    Memorials can be made to the following:

    St. Jude's Children's Hospital
    262 Danny Thomas Place
    Memphis, Tenn. 38105

    Children's Miracle Network
    P.O. Box 8369
    Greenville, N.C. 27835-8369.

    Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

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