Documents: Surveillance video captured fatal stabbing of hemp store clerk

Documents: Surveillance video captured fatal stabbing of hemp store clerk
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 11:55 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2022 at 2:08 PM EDT
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SURF CITY, N.C. (WECT) - The fatal stabbing of a Surf City hemp shop employee was captured on the store’s surveillance video, recently filed court documents reveal.

Charles Michael Haywood, 22, is charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the killing of 42-year-old Margaret Bracey last month.

Bracey was the lone employee at Exotic Hemp Company when Haywood entered the store at around 6:40 p.m. on Aug. 24. The surveillance video recorded Haywood asking Bracey about hemp products before taking out a knife and demanding she open the cash register.

“Haywood removed the cash from the register and then attacked Bracey with the knife, stabbing her multiple times,” a Surf City detective wrote as probable cause for a search warrant. “As a result of the knife attack by Haywood, Bracey was killed.”

“Haywood cut his hand during the attack and was seen on video bleeding from his hand,” the document continues.

Video captured Haywood taking some merchandise and cash – worth $750 according to an arrest warrant – which he put in his backpack. He then removed his sweatpants and bandana, which he left at the store before walking out in a shirt, boxer shorts and flip flops.

Investigators traced drops of blood to the intersection of N.C. Hwy 50 and Little Kinston Road, which was later found to be only 700 feet from the home he was staying at with his mother.

Haywood’s mother apparently contacted police after seeing a still image of the surveillance video, which was shared with media outlets following the murder.

“[Haywood’s mother] brought Haywood to the Surf City Police Department where he was interviewed and ultimately arrested for first-degree murder and armed robbery,” the court document states. “While interviewing [Haywood’s mother], she advised that Haywood had returned to her residence with his shirt wrapped around his hand. [She] stated that Haywood entered the residence and showered. [She] stated that she checked on Haywood and found that he had a laceration to his hand that required medical attention. [She] stated that Haywood put the shirt he had wrapped around his hand into a trash bag and put the trash bag into the outside trash can.”

Investigators seized the clothes Haywood was reportedly seen wearing during the incident, as well as medical records and surveillance video from Onslow Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for his hand injury.

Haywood remains in jail without bond.