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Brunswick County sees first murder of 2008

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LELAND -- Thirty-nine days into the new year Brunswick County has seen its first murder. Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett says the suspect went into a home where some of his family members were sleeping. Hewett says the man started an argument, and eventually opened fire. It happened around 3:30 Friday morning at a house on Brandon Drive in Leland. Sheriff Hewett says it appears Jerome Echlos got out of bed to see what all the commotion was about, and tried to diffuse the situation. Detectives believe he may have reached for a pack of cigarettes. That's when they believe Norris Johnson fired, shooting Echlos once in the chest. Not long after Brunswick County patrol deputies pulled over a car driven by Johnson's girlfriend with him in it, less than a mile from the scene. Johnson was quickly arrested. The victim, Jerome Echlos, was the boyfriend of Johnson's sister. He was staying with her at the time of the shooing. Johnson is in the Brunswick County jail under no bond.

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