Columbus County beating victim passes away, DA says
COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A Chadbourn man who was beaten, robbed, and left out in a field following a vicious assault in Columbus County last summer has passed away, according to District Attorney Jon David.
Jerry Williams Sr., 78, who was paralyzed following the attack, died at his home in the China Grove community on Friday.
The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office charged Juanita Askew, 22, of Whiteville, with several offenses in connection with the assault.
Officials said Williams was driving on Joe Brown Highway (N.C. 410) on July 8 when his vehicle was reportedly blocked off. Askew and a yet-to-be identified man then allegedly dragged Williams into a field and assaulted him.
Williams, whose vehicle was stolen, was left in the field until he was found by a good Samaritan, officials said.
On July 15, Askew allegedly took her 4-month-old daughter, Lonnisha Renee Askew, from Little Hands Daycare near Bladenboro. The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office described Askew as a non-custodial parent who went to the daycare, grabbed the child and fled. She was taken into custody at a Greyhound bus stop in Lumberton, N.C., the following day.
When Askew was arrested, she was found to be in possession of a car key and license plate belonging to Williams, according to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.
District Attorney Jon David said his office is working closely with the sheriff’s office to determine if charges against Askew should be upgraded.
“Legally, we need to establish proximate cause between the injuries and the resulting death, which occurred months later," David said. “We need to get additional medical evidence to substantiate this claim.”
Askew is currently being held at the Bladen County Jail.
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