RICHLANDS, N.C. (WNCT) — The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday an incident that happened last weekend in Richlands was investigated and determined to be a case of self-defense. No charges will be filed, District Attorney Ernie Lee has determined.

The incident happened at 570 Huffmantown Road in Richlands on Saturday. There were a number of emergency vehicles at a home on the road. The area was blocked off during the investigation.

Below are details released by the sheriff’s office about the incident.

On September 3, 2022, at 7:48 p.m. deputies responded to 570 Huffmantown Road in Richlands in reference to a male trespassing and attempting to enter the home. Samuel Richards II, who lived at the home, but was not there at the time, called 911 for his girlfriend, Kelsey Cavenaugh, who was at the residence and witnessed the suspect, Grant Taylor attempt to enter the home without permission.

Samuel, while on his way to the residence, called a witness who stated she saw a male at the door and a female walking around his residence. When Samuel got close to his residence, he called the witness again and the witness told Samuel the vehicle had left the residence, but she could still see the brake lights further up the road.

When Samuel arrived at his residence, he saw a vehicle coming toward the direction of his home. Samuel recognized the driver as Grant Taylor’s wife and the passenger as Grant Taylor. Samuel told both parties not to pull in his driveway and to leave. Grant Taylor’s wife disregarded Samuel’s instructions and pulled the vehicle into Samuel’s driveway anyway.  

Samuel again told both parties to leave his property, at which time, Grant Taylor exited the passenger side of the vehicle and confronted Samuel. The argument became physical when Grant grabbed Samuel around the neck with both hands.

Samuel stated he could not breathe and both he and Grant fell to the ground. While on the ground, Grant had Samuel in a choke hold with his arms around Samuel’s neck. Samuel was positioned with his back on the ground and Grant on top of him. Samuel, who stated he was in fear for his life, removed a pocketknife from his right front pants pocket and stabbed Grant in the back multiple times. During the fight a uniform deputy arrived and broke up the fight, detained Samuel and rendered first aid to Grant. 

Grant was transported to Naval Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries at 9:14 p.m.

During the investigation, detectives learned Grant and Kelsey have a child whom they share custody of. During the past few months, Grant and Kelsey have had ongoing custody disputes over the child; however, no actions were taken through the court system. Detectives corroborated Grant and his wife came to Samuel’s residence uninvited earlier in the night, Grant banged on the door and his wife walked around to the back of the residence. Detectives also learned Grant and his wife pulled down the street and waited until they saw a vehicle (Samuel) pull into the driveway. Grant and his wife returned to Samuel’s residence and refused to leave. Grant confronted Samuel, on Samuel’s property. Grant assaulted Samuel by choking him, which lead to Samuel stabbing Grant.

After discussion with District Attorney Ernie Lee, this case has been ruled self-defense and no charges will be filed against Samuel. The District Attorney believes that based upon the evidence, the State will be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Samuel did not act in self-defense.