WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

2 more charged in March 25 death

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Police have charged two additional suspects in connection to the March 25 killing of a man in the front yard of his Stadium Street home.

Seventeen-year-olds Sarif N. King and Christopher J. Jones, both of Wilson, face one count each of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and attempted armed robbery in the shooting death of 63-year-old Evard “Earl” Artis.

Jones and King are each being held on a $1 million secured bond.

Others charged in Artis’ killing include 57-year-old Jimmie Ray Turner of Kenly and 30-year-old Ashley Nichole Harrell of Stantonsburg. Both face first-degree murder and armed robbery charges.

Police responded to the 1:30 a.m. shots-fired call on March 25 at 411 Stadium St. That’s when they found Artis lying in the front yard of his home suffering from a gunshot wound, police have said. Artis worked for Tobacco Rag Processors in Wilson for 18 years.

Arrests warrants for Turner and Harrell indicate they stole a “brown, leather wallet containing personal items of the value of $30” from Artis. And they allegedly committed the crime with a handgun, according to warrants. Police said at the time of the killing that the incident wasn’t random and that Turner and Harrell were known to the victim.

PRIOR CONVICTIONS

King and Jones don’t have previous state convictions, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety. Turner doesn’t have any state convictions in North Carolina, according to records. But he was convicted on a federal charge of attempt to possess with intent to distribute marijuana in October 1994, according to federal records. Turner was sentenced to 30 months in a federal prison on that charge, followed by two years supervised release, federal records show. He was released from prison in September 1996, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ website.

Harrell has no prior felony convictions in North Carolina, according to records. In 2018, she was convicted of misdemeanor breaking and entering out of Wilson County and misdemeanor drug paraphernalia out of Edgecombe County, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

Police ask anyone with information regarding this case to contact detective Jason Bradshaw at 252-399-2334, the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323, or Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.

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