GREENVILLE, N.C. - A grand jury has indicted Willie Whitehead for plotting to kill several top law enforcement agents in eastern Carolina.
Monday, a grandy jury found true bills for several charges, including two counts of solicitation to commit kidnapping (one for Connie Elks, the other for the Assistant DA’s daughter) and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder (one for Connie Elks, one for Sheriff Neil Elks).
His next court date is an administrative hearing in December related to a triple homicide in Farmville.
The DA’s office is alredy seeking the death penalty against Whitehead for his role in the Farmville triple homicide.
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – The man accused of plotting to kill several top law enforcement agents made his first court appearance this morning.
Willie Whitehead is one of the men charged in the Farmville triple murder case back in April and the murders of a Princeville couple in March.
Now he’s charged with two new counts of solicitation to commit 1st degree murder and two counts to commit first degree kidnapping.
If you ask any of the detectives on this case, they’ll tell you it’s not uncommon to get death threats. But they say this one was different.
"If you look at the fact that this is a person who's in jail accused of killing 5 folks already. And then to make a threat upon killing someone else doesn't make it seem that far-fetched that it could happen,” said Captain Paula Dance, with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office.
In fact, it was so believable to detectives with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, a judge wouldn’t let anyone near the courtroom for Whitehead’s first appearance Wednesday.
"Over the years there have been many idle threats, but when you bring in family and you bring in children, and you bring in our loved ones and spouses, we step up our game,” said Dance.
Whitehead is accused of plotting to kidnap and kill the Sheriff and his wife, and the child of a prosecuting attorney in the Farmville triple homicide case. But Dance says this wasn’t a typical threat. Detectives were surprised to find out what Whitehead and his accomplices knew.
"These are habits maybe of some of the targets or the people who were targeted, information about their families that's not commonly known,” Dance said.
While she wouldn’t reveal specific details about the plot, Dance says it’s likely that Whitehead made connections with other inmates inside the jail who may have later been released.
"They have telephone privileges, they have privileges of writing letters, they have visitation, they have communication among themselves, and I will say that pretty much all of the above was the fact in this case,” she said.
The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says those people may have helped him make outside contacts.
"He certainly would not have been able to carry it out himself, and certainly it would have had to be someone outside the jail,” Dance said.
Investigators say they’re in the process of questioning people who may have been in jail and talked with Whitehead over the last few months.
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GREENVILLE, N.C. - One of the suspects in the Farmville Hustle Mart triple murder is facing new charges. Deputies say Willie Whitehead had a plan to kidnap and kill several law enforcement officers.
Investigators say he made those plans from behind bars.
He made his first court appearance on these new charges early Wednesday morning. Our crews were there for the appearance, but officials didn't allow anyone, including our cameras, in the court room for safety reasons. The judge read him his rights and issued a new court date of November 1st.
Whitehead is already facing five murder charges - 3 from Farmville, and and two more from Princeville
Investigators are now accusing him of organizing a plot to kidnap and kill Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks, his wife, and the child of an assistant district attorney.
Investigators say they found out about the plan from people who Whitehead asked to help carry it out.
"Mr. Whitehead thought that by carrying this plot out he'd be able to obtain his freedom," said Captain Paula Dance with the Pitt County Sheriff's Office.
He's now charged with 2 new counts of solicitation to commit 1st degree murder and 2 counts to commit 1st degree kidnapping.
Whitehead will make his first court appearance for these new charges on Wednesday.
He is under a $5,000,000 bond.
Deputies say more arrest may be on the way.
"If we find that there were people who were going to actively participate in carrying this plot out we certainly will take the appropriate measures," Dance said.
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