Clarkton man killed during apparent robbery, three charged with murder


BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in a Clarkton murder.

According to a news release, the sheriff’s office received a call around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday about an unknown situation on Ida’s Lane in Clarkton.

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The 911 caller told police that she went inside the home and found the victim lying on the bed, covered by a blanket. The woman told the 911 operator she pulled the cover back and saw blood around his ear.

When deputies arrived, they found Charles Leon Leach, 60, dead inside the home. Investigators say Leach was the victim of an apparent robbery. An autopsy will determine the exact cause of death, but the sheriff’s office says blunt force trauma to the head was noted.

The sheriff’s office says information from the scene and gathered from witnesses led to the arrest of three people.

Raliek Tyree Lapaix, 17, of Elizabethtown, Gabriel James McDowell, 16, of Clarkton and Malik Sharmaine Riggans, 25, of Elizabethtown are all charged with 1st degree murder. They are in the Bladen County Detention Center under no bond.

“This was a very cold, violent and despicable act, through the use of our partnerships we were able to bring a quick resolution to this case,” said Sheriff Jim McVicker in a news release. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and hope that this case will be quickly adjudicated in the criminal justice system”

The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office has been assisted by the Bladen County Office of Emergency Services, Bladen County Coroner’s Office, Elizabethtown Police Department, SBI, another others in this case.