Columbus County man sentenced to life for murder of man found during Hurricane Florence

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Three years after the body of a missing man was found floating in a ditch near the Bladen and Columbus County line, the man responsible for shooting and killing him will spend life in prison.

According to the district attorney’s office, a jury found William Simmons guilty of First-Degree Murder and Robbery with a Firearm. Superior Court Judge James Hardin then sentenced Simmons to Life Without Parole.

Simmons killed Carlos Alfonso, Jr., 21 in 2018.

Alfonso went missing on September 13, 2018. He was last seen by his mother, leaving their Orrum home with William Simmons around 4:00 pm.

Simmons returned the the home over an hour later to drop off the cell phone of the victim to the victim’s mother. Simmons claimed that Alfonso left a Columbus County Sundo gas station with an unknown man, leaving his phone behind in Simmons’ truck.

The district attorney’s office says Alfonso’s mother immediately suspected that something was wrong and contacted the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office to report him missing.

While in the midst preparing for the landfall of Hurricane Florence, Robeson County Sheriff’s Office sent several detectives to begin a missing person’s case. Simmons was interviewed by Robeson County detectives and stated that an unknown man in a Ford F-150 had picked up Alfonso from the Sundo gas station located in Boardman.

Alfonso’s father and mother continued searching for their son over the next two days as Florence was bearing down on our coast.

On September 16, Simmons called 911 to report that he had located Alfonso’s body off of Hwy 410 near the Columbus/Bladen County line. Detectives with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene to find Carlos Alfonso, Jr. floating face down in a ditch filled with storm water.

Alfonso had two apparent shotgun wounds to his body. Simmons was interviewed by Detective Matt Parker and altered his story to say that a third party had shot and killed Alfonso in a field behind Simmons’ Evergreen home.

Simmons claimed that he moved Alfonso’s body in an effort to ensure he was located. Detectives were able to identify and clear the third party of any involvement in Alfonso’s death.

Afterwards, detectives began an investigation into Simmons. After numerous interviews, collection of physical evidence, and collection of digital evidence, detectives were able to determine that Simmons was responsible for driving Alfonso to the isolated Columbus County field and killing him.

It took the Columbus County jury less than two hours to return a guilty verdict for premeditated first degree murder.

Categories: Bladen, Columbus, Top Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *