Killed – Billy Watson Strickland (Johnston County, NC)

Billy Watson Strickland

BENSON, N.C. — A Four Oaks man found along a Benson highway late Monday morning might have been trying to help the man authorities have charged in his death, Johnston County’s sheriff said Tuesday.

Sheriff Steve Bizzell said Anthony Edward Messer, 31, was an acquaintance of the son of Billy Watson Strickland, 62, who was found shot and robbed on the side of Hannah Creek Road.

Messer, 31, of 2095 Stewart Road in Four Oaks, was arrested Monday afternoon and faces charges of murder and robbery in the case.

A passing driver spotted the man, who he said was covered with abrasions and barely breathing, just before noon. The witness told WRAL News that a gun was found at the scene.


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