Church Deacon Killed Inside Home

Vondell Bethune, 66, of Selma was killed inside his home Sunday, Aug. 11th. Facebook photo

Suspect Turns Himself In At Johnston County Sheriff’s Office  

SELMA – A church deacon was reportedly killed inside his home hours after he returned from Sunday worship services.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a possible deceased person inside a house at 7529 Buffalo Road, Selma at 6:47pm, according to Sheriff Steve Bizzell. Deputies arrived and confirmed a person in the residence was deceased.

Sheriff Bizzell said the suspect left the scene but later turned himself in at the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office in Smithfield. Authorities did not release the name of the victim or suspect, or a possible motive.

However, a man standing outside the crime scene tape of the rural home, 84 year-old Nathaniel Bethune Sr. of Wilson, identified the victim as his son, 66 year-old Vondell Bethune.

Vondell Bethune’s younger brother, Dwight Bethune of Wilson, was also at the scene. He said his brother allowed a roommate to move into the Buffalo Road address 7 to 8 months ago. Dwight claims Vondell asked the roommate to move out and a verbal argument ensued, which led to his brother being fatally shot.

Vondell Bethune was a deacon at White Oak Hill Missionary Baptist Church on Highway 231, Middlesex in northern Johnston County. His father and brother said Vondell was at church today.

“He loved to go to church,” Dwight Bethune said of his older brother. “Every time there was a service he was going. When he wasn’t at church he was at home or with his girlfriend. He didn’t bother nobody.”

“He had a lawn care business. He kept to himself,” Nathaniel Bethune Sr. said Sunday night.

Asked about his son’s death today, Nathaniel replied, “I was shocked. I can’t believe it. It’s like a dream, a nightmare. I can’t believe its true.”

Dwight said his brother told him he had a few disagreements with his roommate since he moved in earlier this year, but was unaware of any recent problems until Vondell asked the roommate to leave. Dwight said he didn’t think his brother owned a gun, but thought the roommate had a firearm.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office is expected to release more official information on Monday.