Man gets prison

in firefighter’s death

LUMBERTON — A Robeson County man charged in connection to a traffic accident that killed a volunteer firefighter pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder.

Dennis Wayne Jones, 41, also pleaded guilty to hit-and-run involving serious injury or death, driving while impaired, driving while license revoked and failure to reduce speed.

Superior Court Judge Ebern T. Watson III sentenced Jones to 17 1/2 to 22 years in prison for second-degree murder and recommended a full forensic psychological analysis to assist in determining if Jones needs to be placed in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.


Blaze claims

one man’s life

NEWTON GROVE — A man was killed in an early-morning fire Tuesday at his home on Harnett-Dunn Highway, where officials with the Sampson County Fire Marshal’s Office and N.C. State Bureau of Investigation remained on scene throughout the day investigating the cause of the deadly blaze.

Firefighters discovered a body in the residence while extinguishing the fire. He has since been identified as residence owner Jimmy Lee, 52.

Lee’s official cause of death is pending the Medical Examiners autopsy.


Man is facing

new gun charges

WHITEVILLE — A man who survived a December shooting, but later arrested for a Nov. 26 shooting and conspiring to sell drugs for his bond, is facing additional firearms charges.

Deron Dewitt Blanks, who is in the county jail under $625,000 bond, was charged with three counts of possession of a stolen firearm, two counts of possession of stolen property, and one of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. An additional $5,000 was added to his bond, and no bond was set on the firearms charges.


Dam could get

approval Friday

HOPE MILLS — Town officials here are hoping final approval will be given on the Hope Mills Lake dam by Friday.

The lake has been empty since a 2010 dam failure. The new dam was built using a $9.4 million settlement the town won from the designers and builders of the failed dam.

The town is hoping to build the sidewalks with a combination of town funds and grant money. Johnson Street would be made a one-way street.

— From staff and wire reports.