Man sentenced to life in prison for murdering elderly Columbus County man

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A man charged with murder in the case of a missing 82-year-old Columbus County man was found guilty in court on Friday.

Tucker Rector was found guilty of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon by a Columbus County jury. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge James Greg Bell to life without parole in prison.

According to the district attorney’s office, the charges came about after Edward Earl Davis was reported missing by his daughter, Janet Johnson. On March 16, 2020, Johnson arrived at her father’s home in the Bolton area of Columbus County to find large pools of blood throughout the property. Johnson called 911 to request an officer be sent to Davis’ house.

Columbus County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area and immediately began searching for Davis.

While on scene, officers were approached by Davis’ neighbor, Tucker Rector, who stated that “he hoped he would not be considered a suspect.” Detectives with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office began working the scene and interviewing witnesses. After an interview with Rector, detectives searched his home and found bloody clothing, a shotgun belonging to Davis, and an empty prescription bottle for Valium belonging to Davis. Rector then led Detective Paul Rockenbach to a remote area of the Green Swamp where he had dumped Davis’ body after shooting him with a shotgun.

Rector remained in custody from the date of arrest to trial.

Assistants District Attorney Jacob Ward and Troy Cronk stated, “We are grateful to the members of the jury for returning this verdict to provide justice not only to Davis’ family, but to our community. We express our deepest gratitude to Detective Paul Rockenbach and the the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office. Their incredible work made Rector’s prosecution possible.”

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