Kinston man arrested, facing charges for multiple felonies, including arson at convenience store

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Eric Kyle Kelly (Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office photo)

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — A Kinston man has been arrested and is facing multiple charges, including charges for arson and breaking and entering.

At 7:10 a.m. Sunday, deputies with the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Speedway convenience store at 1660 Hwy 11/55 in Kinston for a disturbance call. Before deputies arrived, the suspect allegedly had an argument with someone in the parking lot and damaged a vehicle. The clerks inside the store called 911 and locked the doors to the store to prevent the suspect from coming in. 

Deputies said the suspect used a blunt instrument to break the glass and enter the store. While he was inside, he stole items and set different things on fire, attempting to damage the store and cause injuries to the people inside who were hiding.

Deputies arrived on the scene and were able to take Eric Kyle Kelly, 35, of Kinston into custody. He was charged with the following:

  • Felony first degree arson
  • Felony breaking and entering with intent to injure
  • Felony larceny after breaking and entering
  • Felony possession of stolen property
  • Misdemeanor injury to personal property
  • Misdemeanor injury to real property
  • Misdemeanor communicating threats

Kelly was placed in the Lenoir County Detention Center under a $145,000 secured bond.

“We are very thankful to our deputies for their quick response and training that allowed them to take the suspect into custody quickly,” Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram said. “Their training also allowed them to get the fire under control to get the employees out of the building before something terrible occurred.

“We are not sure why this person committed these crimes, but he will have to answer for his actions.”

The volunteer fire departments at Sandy Bottom, Southwood and Deep Run responded to the incident, as well due to the fires being set.

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