Third murder charge coming for teenager
A third charge of first-degree murder awaits Joey Lamont Kearney, the 16-year-old involved in two New Year’s Eve incidents that left three people dead.
Sam Currin, the district attorney, said he expects Kearney to be charged in connection to the shooting death of 63-year-old Roger Dell Tant in Vance County earlier in December. Kearny, known as “Lil-Dirty,” is already charged with first-degree murder in the double homicide on Dec. 31 of Akesia Michelle Toney, 37, and her 16-year-old daughter Brianna Jones.
Tant was found on Dec. 22 in his 3985 Weldon’s Mill Road, Lot 14, mobile home. He was believed to have been shot to death the Thursday prior, on Dec. 19.
Toney and Jones were found slain in the early morning hours Tuesday. After daybreak, about 9, a Vance County deputy spotted Ricky Junior Toney driving his estranged wife’s car, with Kearney as a passenger, and gave pursuit.
The chase ended on Smith Road in Warren County, with Det. Kenneth Wood engaging in gunfire with Ricky Toney and shooting the suspect. Ricky Toney was killed, and Kearney was injured and taken to a Franklin County hospital before going to jail.
“I think he will be charged in Vance County with robbery and first-degree murder,” Currin said of Kearney on Thursday. “I know the warrant has been drawn up.”
Ricky Toney was wanted by Vance deputies in connection to Tant’s death.
Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones on Thursday said he wasn’t sure if Kearney had been injured by gunfire on Smith Road.
“He had a superficial injury to the hand,” Jones said. “I am not sure if it was a gunshot injury or not.”
The double homicide occurred at around 2:30 a.m., when a call in to 911 was interrupted by commotion at 1755 West River Road, Franklinton. Jerry Jones said one of his deputies responded to the scene to find lights on, the door open and two female victims dead of gunshot injuries inside the residence.
“Kearney appeared in court for a 96-hour hearing, and he is being held in our jail for the time being,” Jerry Jones said. “He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first degree burglary and kidnapping.”
Kearney, of 27 Cucumber Shed Way, Louisburg, received a $75,000 bond for non-murder counts in his case, and he is being held without bond on the two first-degree murder charges pending a hearing in Franklin County District Court Jan. 14.
Jerry Jones said evidence in the case includes an interview of Kearney conducted by detectives with the State Bureau of Investigation.
According to Vance County Sheriff Peter White, Wood was placed on paid administrative leave because of the officer-involved shooting death of Ricky Toney, pending an investigation by the SBI.
White said earlier that deputies and other officers were closing on the pursuit area as Ricky Toney turned northbound on Smith then turned around and struck the Ford Crown Victoria driven by Wood.
Akesia Toney had been going by the last name Jones, but court records, including references to domestic violence incidents, indicated she was married to Ricky Toney.
The Franklin County victims were not related to Sheriff Jerry Jones.
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