FIRST ON 3: Rocky Point woman murdered; suspect in custody has history of violence

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Submitted: Sun, 06/17/2012 - 7:35pm
Updated: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 1:01pm

ROCKY POINT, NC (WWAY) — A woman is dead, and a man is in jail after an early Saturday morning murder.

Pender County Sheriff’s Deputies and medical examiners found 50-year-old Debra Gail Long dead at her home at 140 Chinaberry Lane in Rocky Point around 3:30 Saturday morning.

Tony Allen Harris, 39, also of Rocky Point, is in the Pender County Jail with no bond, charged with Long’s murder.

When WWAY went to the scene Saturday morning, Harris’ mother and two other people showed up to get his scooter. All three declined to comment on camera. Harris’ mother told us off camera that she had just been to see her son before she stopped by Long’s home. She told us the two were in an on-again-off-again relationship for about a year and that her son was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Harris has a criminal record that dates back to 1989 and includes multiple assault charges, drug charges as well as larceny and breaking and entering charges, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. He’s had multiple stays in jail. The most recent was for about seven months in 2006 and 2007 for various felony larceny and breaking and entering charges.

No neighbors we talked to wanted to speak on camera either. The man who lives across the street told us off camera that Long had just moved in several months ago and that he didn’t really know her. He said he didn’t hear anything last night because of the breathing machine he wears to bed but saw police cars when he woke up.

Long’s autopsy is scheduled to take place soon. Cause of death is still under investigation.


  • Leslie Daniels says:

    I know both parties involved and I am totally at a loss for words when it comes to Tony…but I can tell everyone that Debbie Long had a heart of pure gold. She would help anyone who reached out to her and took nothing in exchange…other than friendship. She had an amazing smile and eyes that twinkled with joy! She was kind, gentle, sincere, full of love, faithful, genuine, happy and so hopeful and forgiving! Anyone who knew her can tell you the same. Its such a tragedy knowing that the man who promised to love and protect her actually took the breath from her body!!! I firmly believe in “An eye for an eye.” In my opinion Tony Harris has a special reservation in HELL and his trip there cannot come soon enough.
    God broke the mold when he made Debbie Long. She has had an impact on everyone she ever came in contact with and she should be respected. I never truly knew what a broken heart feels like…..till the day she was taken. Because of Tonys selfishness…her family and friends have a life sentence. May she rest in peace and may justice be served!!!

  • A.R. says:

    Tony is a good guy. Hard to read this. He recently stopped drinking because she threatned to leave him if he didn’t. So sad to read this.

  • GuestAgent says:

    He has a criminal record that could rival “War and Peace” or “Gone With the Wind” for length!

    That is not GOOD, Einstein.

  • wilmington217 says:

    Karma is a ………

  • eddie says:

    Another piece of trash off the streets of Burgaw.

  • Next door neighbor says:

    I lived next door to him.

  • Mary says:

    Tony has never worked in Burgaw on trailors. He is a mechanic in Wilmington with a very respectful job. He is highly thought of by many. He was diagnosed to be bi-polar,for which he has been receiving treatment. This woman would just not leave him alone. She called and text him constantly. No, she did not deserve to die but she new Tony was a sick man and she kept pushing.

  • Leslie Daniels says:

    Seeing this online has made me sick to my stomach!!! People on here claiming to know Debbie but in all actuality YOU don’t know the first thing about her. Keep your trashy mouths shut!!! A woman is DEAD!!! Her sons have lost a mother, her grandbabies have lost their grandmother and her friends have lost someone AMAZING!
    I have known Tony Harris since I was just 15 years old and I can tell you, from first hand knowledge, that hes always been “a few clowns short of a circus” and THATS putting it nicely!!! He brutally MURDERED my friend!!! All because SHE moved out and tried to move on with her life! If you don’t know the facts…keep your mouths shut. Hes psychotic….has always been psychotic but hes NOT bipolar!!! That’s just an excuse for his actions.
    AND IN REFERENCE TO HER EX HUSBANDS DEATH…..Sonny did NOT die at Debbies hands or because of her!!! She loved him very much. Unfortunately, Sonnys mother is looking for someone to blame for her sons death!!!
    Bottom line: Debra Gail Long is DEAD….Leave this mess alone. She was an awesome person and deserves nothing but respect!!!! How the hell would you feel if this were your daughter, mother or friend!!! IF you don’t truly know the history behind Debbie and Tonys relationship (and not just good ol Tonys word) then keep your mouth shut!!!!
    MURDER IS MURDER….no matter how you cut it!!!!

  • Leslie Daniels says:

    Hahahaha!!! Seems YOU got your facts twisted!! It was HIM that wouldn’t and couldn’t leave HER alone!! For Gods sake….Debbie even moved out and away from his home….leaving all the possessions they had accumulated as a couple. Get your facts straight!!!!! He is a psycho. He deserves everything that comes to him! She did everything for him and instead of loving and protecting her…he snubbed her life out. I have known his ass since I was 15 (and believe me, Im NOT bragging). He aint EVER exhibited any signs of “Bipolar Disorder” in any of the years I have known his ass!!! Its an excuse for MURDERING DEBRA GAIL LONG!
    Sit back and think about what it would feel like had this been your mother, sister, grandmother, niece, daughter or friend!!! She had a grandbaby she never got to meet….
    IF you don’t know the TRUE history between these 2….keep your small minded opinion to yourself. Have a great day!!!

  • elks says:

    How great is your drivers license picture?

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    Never have any dealings with a man who looks like he stepped out of an Heironymus Bosch painting.

  • bob says:

    I saw him in Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgaw building single wides

  • WholeTruth says:

    Do NOT believe everything you read. Do you like your drivers license photo? You want to know about Debra Long? Ask her recently deceased husband “Sonny” Long’s mother.

  • Gary Hudson says:

    I agree with you if anyone would like to know the type of person Debra long was just ask Ronald Long mother she is missing her son everyday …. And you were right there is a place for Debbie and I hope she is feeling the heat right now !!!!!!

  • WhyjustTony says:

    Tony was a wonderful guy plus a wonderful mechanic. He would bend over backwards for his people. People on here are all talking about how much of a saint Debra was and how much of a peice of trash Tony is,, but the question is how can she be such a saint if she was right along side Tony?? It’s just funny when people die they turn into angels… not saying that hurtting someone is right but Tony was a good man too. They both seemed to love each other…. but Debra had just much of a past as Tony did…..

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    for a murderer A.R. meant to say……..

  • burgerboy says:

    and just think, you’ll have to house and feed this theiving, murdering peice of trash for the rest of it’s natural life, thanks to the libbers who say that the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment! I say it’s cruel and unusual punishment to make us taxpayers pay to let these thugs lay up in jail and watch tv and not have to work a day for the rest of they’re lives!

  • Das Weibstück says:

    NC has the death penalty, so what are you blabbing about? Btw.. Capital punishment in NC is more expensive than life imprisonment. Get your facts.

  • Guestwho says:

    Man, the first comment for every article on this Site is always from some half-wit troll blaming something on “liberals” that has nothing to do with the story. how/why do you do it? I think I can imagine it…you’re just sit in your little rebel flag and unicorn covered basement waiting for ANY new story to pop up on your favorite news site? And then you see it! ‘MAN KILLS GIRLFRIEND’..”Aha!” you say “libbers at it again, but how to make the connection?” you ask yourself as you caress your Obama voodoo doll. “hmmm abortion?…Same sex marriage?…gun control?…war on religion?…no….WAIT! got it…death penalty” The perfect script straight from the sean hannity play book..simple math…5-degrees of seperation = absolute truth.

    First of all genius NC DOES HAVE A DEATH PENALTY! At least do a little research before you start beating at your keyboard with your troll hooves. Oh wait…..”research”…nah that’s no way to form an opinion is it? Just regurgitate everything you see on bumperstickers or Fox news. you are week and sad and an embarrassment to the group to which believe that you belong.

  • GuestMan. says:

    Actually, despite the lies your have been told; after appeals, lawyer fees, the cost of judges and clerks and deputies, it IS cheaper to lock them up forever than to sentence them to death. Would you want to spend the rest of your life in a 6X9 cell?

  • Upset says:

    You are all rude and disrespectful. This women has family and friends whom love and adored her. You should all think twice before commenting. This man deserves to spend eternity in hell and God will see to it justice is served. R.I.P to a wonderful women who will forever be missed. Until we meet again.

  • agreed says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  • Leslie Daniels says:

    THANK YOU so very much for this comment!!! Yes, she does deserve to be respected and YES she is adored by her friends. People that only know half the truth are sure in for a rude awakening. Once again, thanks!!!

  • Leslie Daniels says:

    Did he confess? Ummmm….calling 4-5 people right after the murder and bragging about definitely a confession! Please!

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    The cost of one strategically placed bullet just doesn’t cost that much…..

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