Woman charged in crime spree after husband tries to end relationship

Photo: Columbus County Sheriff's Office

RIEGELWOOD, NC (WWAY) — A woman faces multiple charges following a crime spree after her estranged husband claims he tried to end their relationship.

According to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, the crime spree began around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Monica Renee Simpson, 33, allegedly fired shots inside Keith’s Tire and Auto on Old Stage Highway in Riegelwood.

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In a press release, the sheriff’s office states that Simpson pointed a gun and fired multiple shots at employee Brittany Graham who escaped from the business through the back door. Simpson drove away in a Jeep Wrangler.

The sheriff’s office then received calls about shots fired on Hoover Road in Bladen County. They said Simpson and her estranged husband, Jeffery Graham, 56, were driving in separate vehicles on Hoover Road when she fired shots at his vehicle.

The sheriff’s office then received a call about vehicle struck by another car and abandoned on Old Lake Road. Witnesses told investigators that a Jeep Wrangler struck the car and fled the scene. Deputies found the car’s driver, Jeffery Graham, in a wooded area. He informed sheriff’s deputies that earlier that day, he told Simpson he wanted to end their relationship. He claimed she took his Jeep Wrangler and chased him as he tried to leave in his daughter’s vehicle.

Columbus County 911 received another call about a mobile home and vehicle on fire which turned out to be Jeffery Graham’s home and vehicle. The sheriff’s office said Simpson drove the Jeep Wrangler into Graham’s mobile home before setting the Jeep on fire. Both the vehicle and home were destroyed by fire.

The sheriff’s office then learned that Simpson was with her mother in Brunswick County. While in the Navassa area, she jumped and ran from the vehicle but was later caught and taken to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Center.

The sheriff’s office says they also received a call about stolen gun from a home on Evergreen Church Road in Delco. Phyllis Simpson, 60, reported her handgun was missing and that it was at her home earlier that morning. According to the sheriff’s office, Phyllis Simpson’s daughter, Monica, took the firearm from her mother’s house before embarking on her crime spree.

Simpson was charged with felony larceny of a firearm, felony second-degree arson, misdemeanor injury to real property, misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and felony discharging a firearm to incite fear. She received a $161,000 secured bond. The sheriff’s office says additional charges are pending.