Bond set at $750K for man charged in stabbing death of woman

Bond set at $750K for man charged in stabbing death of woman
Published: Apr. 18, 2018 at 11:00 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2018 at 3:43 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A man has been charged in the stabbing death of a woman in Wilmington last week.

Jonathan Dwight Southers, 50, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Yolanda Bentley on Thursday, April 12. Southers is also charged with assault on a female in an unrelated incident.

Officers responded to the 3400 block of Wilshire Drive at approximately 2:30 a.m. to find Bentley unconscious with a stab wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wilmington Police Department officials say Southers was an acquaintance of Bentley's.

During Southers' first court appearance Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors said he and Bentley were at another woman's apartment when they got into an altercation outside. The woman told police she heard loud fighting outside the door and she didn't exit her apartment until the noise stopped, which is when she found Bentley dead from a stab wound to the chest.

Another witness told police they saw a bald man fleeing the scene on a bicycle. Other witnesses identified Southers by his voice as the man outside the apartment when Bentley was killed.

Prosecutors said after Southers was arrested, he contacted a woman and convinced her to dispose of evidence into the Cape Fear River saying he had "messed up." The woman told police she was unaware of Bentley's murder.

Phone records place Southers at the apartment complex before, during, and after Bentley was killed, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors also allege that Southers was intimidating a witness at the apartment complex who he is accused of assaulting during an incident prior to the homicide.

Southers' bond was set at $750,000 and his next court appearance will be May 3.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety website, Southers has multiple previous convictions for charges including larceny, common law robbery and breaking and entering. Most recently he was released from prison in 1998 after serving more than three years for possession with intent to sell a controlled substance and receiving stolen goods.

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