2017-06-07 / Calendar

Third person charged

By Johnny Whitfield
Courier-Times Editor

Dudley Pruitt Dudley Pruitt Person County Sheriff ’s investigators have arrested a third person in connection with the May 5 murder of Leonard Pettiford.

On Friday night, deput ies charged Dudley Wayne Pruitt Jr., 50, of 329 Hassell Clayton Road, Roxboro, with murder. Pruitt’s daughter, Ashley Marie Pruitt, 19, was charged a day earlier along with her boyfriend Walter Chambers.

Person County Sheriff ’s Chief Deputy Kevin Crabtree said officers recovered the gun they believe was used in the killing, a 20-gauge shotgun. Dudley Pruitt has confessed to the murder, Crabtree said. Investigators believe he was the person who fired two shots at Pettiford sometime on May 5.

Pettiford had been in a dating relationship with Dudley Pruitt’s stepdaughter, but Crabtree said the motive for the shooting remains unclear.

Petti- ford and Ashley Pruitt had been in run-ins with each other before the murder, Crabtree said.

Ashley Pruitt Ashley Pruitt Petti- ford was found the night of May 5 by his son. His body laid in the floor near the back of his house at 1465 Halifax Road. He was grasping a styrofoam cup in one hand. Pettiford had been shot in the right side of the head twice at close range. Incident reports said there appeared to have been some kind of altercation prior to the murder. The wall in the kitchen was damaged and there was glass from a shattered cell phone in the living room.

Dudley Pruitt’s arrest came just over 24 hours after Ashley Pruitt and Chambers were arrested. Both Pruitts are charged with murder and are being held in the Person County Jail without bond. Chambers, who began dating Ashley Pruitt a couple weeks before the murder, was charged with being an accessory after the fact and is being held in the Person County Jail under $1 million bond. Crabtree said investigators don’t believe he was present at the time of the murder, but they say he had conversations with people about it after it happened.

Chambers Chambers

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