JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The suspect in a 2017 murder at a strip club pleaded no contest and was sentenced on Monday.

WNCT’s Claire Curry reports Jyree Dominic Noel was sentenced to up to 24 years in jail. District Attorney Ernie Lee reports Noel was charged with murder after deputies with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said he fatally shot Tyrone Lamont Bailey, 39, of Jacksonville, at the Cave Gentleman Club on Dec. 22, 2017.

The case went to a judge Monday afternoon and a decision was rendered in just over an hour.

Below is a press release from Lee with more details.

=====

On September 26, 2022, Jyree Dominic Noel, age 39, pled guilty to Second Degree Murder, Attempted Trafficking in Cocaine and Malicious Conduct by a Prisoner.  The defendant was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Clinton D. Rowe from Craven County to a minimum of 288 months to a maximum of 358 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction.  The State of North Carolina was represented by Senior Assistant District Attorney Kelly B. Neal and Assistant District Attorney Christopher Abrams. The defendant was represented by attorney Ms. Bellonora McCallum of Kinston, North Carolina.

            On December 22, 2017, Officers with the Jacksonville Police Department responded to the Cave night club and found people performing CPR on the body of Tyrone Bailey, age 39.  He had been shot one time on the head in the parking lot.  Witnesses at the scene identified the defendant as the shooter but he had fled the scene before they arrived.  A witness was interviewed and indicated that the defendant and the victim had words in the parking lot, the defendant then went to his white Mercedes vehicle parked in the parking lot, retrieved an item, and then walked up to the victim and shot him in the head.  As one officer responded he observed a black male with his hair in dreads head across US 17 towards the Priscilla McCall’s business and Jacksonville Vet Clinic.  Officers were unable at that time to locate this person. 

            While officers were investigating the scene, Onslow County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Schmitz encountered the defendant while he was walking down US 17.  At this time, the defendant was not identified to officers as the shooter.  The defendant was allowed to leave this encounter.  After releasing the defendant, he was then identified as the shooter, so Deputy Schmitz began looking for the defendant.  The defendant was found at the Walmart on Yopp Rd., which is connected to US 17.

            The defendant was observed on Walmart security going into the store and approaching a female, Deja Foskey, while she was in the self-checkout line.  The defendant approached her, finished paying for her items and told her he would pay her $1000 for her help.  He told her they needed to go, and he escorted her outside of the store.  She was afraid of the defendant, only thought of her son and didn’t know the defendant.  Once outside, the defendant was stopped outside by Deputies Schmitz and Roman and a struggle between them ensued before the defendant was taken into custody.

            While this was going on, Jacksonville Police Department Officers were processing the crime scene.  They found one shell casing in the parking lot.  They also found the victim had a gun lying under him around his waistband and no witnesses said that he brandished the weapon or ever pointed it at the defendant.  Officers executed a search warrant on the defendant’s car and found over 400 grams of cocaine in the defendant’s car, as confirmed by the state crime lab.  The gun used to shoot Mr. Bailey was not recovered.

            At the station, officers attempted to execute a search warrant on the defendant for his DNA, but he bit the buccal swabs and chewed them up and spit them out at officers, getting blood and saliva on them.  Also, the defendant jumped into the shower to avoid any Gun Shot Residue tests of his clothing.

            Dr. John Almeida performed an autopsy on the victim and found he had not consumed any alcohol.  He died due to a Gun Shot Wound to the left temple that went from left to right and downward and backward.  The bullet fragmented in the skull and created multiple skull fractures.

            I commend the work done in this case by the Jacksonville Police Department with the assistance of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department.  The work done by the Detectives and Crime Scene Investigations Unit that night brought Tyrone Bailey’s killer to justice.  This case was a senseless tragedy where someone lost their life due to the use of a firearm.  Due to the hard work of the Jacksonville Police Department, this defendant will serve a substantial active sentence.

                                                            Ernie Lee

                                                            District Attorney