Man suspected of Surf City homicide appears in court

UPDATE: Surf City police identify suspect in homicide investigation
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 8:48 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2022 at 12:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SURF CITY, N.C. (WECT) - Surf City police have identified Charles Michael Haywood, 22, of Holly Springs, as the person arrested in connection to a homicide investigation. Arrest warrants say that he was armed with a knife, but whether or not he used the knife has not been confirmed.

Haywood is currently charged with First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery and was seen in court on Friday, August 26. He is now held in jail with no bond.

District Attorney Ben David was in court Friday and at the state’s request he asked the judge that Haywood be held in jail under no bond. The state also requested that Haywood be appointed to the Capital Defenders Office due to the nature of the charges.

David is not able to say much about the case as it is still in the early stages of the investigation, however after Haywood’s court appearance today, David briefly spoke with media outlets.

“Anytime something happens in open daylight, in a well-lit, crowded area, it gets everyone to pause and say how concerned they are and that’s why we prioritize those cases in the criminal justice system. This case is a priority for a different reason, and that is because someone has lost their life,” David said. “”I know that this si a case that has shocked the community, this is something a lot of people have turned their attention to. We have always put first degree murders at the very highest priority in our office, and we’ll continue to do that.”

David went on to talk about his meeting with the United States Attorney earlier this week.

“We were talking about how, under the Hobbs Act, which is a federal jurisdiction case, you can basically proceed federally and get people usually more time when they do an armed robbery of convenience stores and restaurants and things of the like. This is not a case that we’re going to be proceeding federally on, my office is going to be retaining jurisdiction and handling.”

The SCPD announced they were looking for the suspect Wednesday night in connection to a death investigation that “occurred at approximately 6:40 p.m. on August 24, 2022, at the Exotic Hemp store located on Hwy 50.”

Police confirmed at a Thursday, August 25 press conference that 42-year-old Margaret Bracey was found dead. Police Chief Phillip Voorhees says this is being considered a homicide. Police say Haywood turned himself in to the Surf City Police Department just before 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

The SCPD says that while Haywood originates from Holly Springs, he has been staying in the area the past few months.

Haywood turned himself in to the Surf City Police Department just before 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Haywood turned himself in to the Surf City Police Department just before 10:30 a.m. Thursday.(Pender County Sheriff's Office)
Surf City police are searching for a suspect who is considered armed and dangerous.
Surf City police are searching for a suspect who is considered armed and dangerous.(SCPD)