Autopsy released for holiday murder

Feb. 22, 2013 @ 05:43 PM

A Henderson man’s shooting death on the night of Thanksgiving was at close range, according to the recently released medical examiner’s report.

Barry Terron “Ron” Wilkerson died of a single bullet fired through the upper back, according to the report signed by Dr. Lauren Scott and Dr. Samuel Simmons in Chapel Hill. Wilkerson was found in the driveway of United Prayer of Faith Holiness Church on Miriam Street about 10 p.m.

Henderson police said no church activities were ongoing at the time of his death.

No arrests have been made and Henderson police said rewards of up to $2,000 through Crime Stoppers can be earned for information. Crime Stoppers can be contacted at (252) 492-1925, and it is not necessary to leave a name.

The 27-year-old resident of 1340 Nichols Street died with long, undamaged fingernails intact — no tissue signs of struggle — and no other signs of recent injury that would indicate a fight. Doctors found sparse soot on the skin surface next to the entry wound and gunshot residue visible on his clothing.

According to the report, the entry wound to the rear-right upper back was small, a 0.2-inch hole, making a half-inch by 0.3-inch oval exit wound out the front of the chest. The bullet struck a rib, fracturing it, then travelled upward through the right side of the chest area, puncturing a lung before exiting.

The autopsy report stated police told them that Wilkerson was found lying face down in the church’s driveway.

A Henderson Police Department report signed by Officer Graham Woodlief on the incident included statements that a handgun had been used in the shooting.

Lt. Alan Hedgepeth stated Wilkerson was last known to be alive at 8 p.m. He indicated officers arrived at about the time that the incident was officially reported, but did not say if officers were the first to find the body.

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