Belhaven man charged with murder

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, January 30, 2018

BELHAVEN — A Belhaven man has charged with murder after a Sunday night stabbing.

Sunday evening, law enforcement and EMS personnel responded to a residence on Gum Neck Road in Belhaven after a report of an assault. Elwood Lawrence Williams, 55, was found suffering from multiple stab wounds, and the suspect, 49-year-old Matthew Charles Scrase, also of Belhaven, was arrested at the scene.

While Williams was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital, then transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, he later died from his wounds. The original charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury was upgraded to an open count of murder, according to a press release from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials don’t know Scrase’s motives for stabbing the other man.

“I wish we could figure it out, but we don’t have a clue,” said Lt. Jim Vanlandingham, head of sheriff’s office criminal investigations. “Reportedly, by a witness statement and physical evidence at the scene, there was drinking and partaking of other controlled substances.”

Vanlandingham said the witness told investigators he had walked outside and returned to find the stabbing in progress.

“He can’t say for certain what took place, and the suspect isn’t saying,” Vanlandingham said.

The weapon was a standard steak knife, he said.

Scrase is being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center with no bond, according to the release.

Williams’ murder is the second in Belhaven in the last two months. Investigators are still seeking Jayquwan Lamar Newmones, 23, the man they believe responsible for the murder of 27-year-old Timothy Bernard Moore, whose body was found on a dirt road off of Beech Ridge Road on Christmas Eve. Moore had been shot multiple times.

“We’re still actively attempting to locate the suspect in that case,” Vanlandingham said, adding that the sheriff’s office has enlisted the help of Greenville Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team, which serves as an arm of North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s Fugitive and Missing Persons Task Force.