Arrest made in elderly man's murder

Crystal Worley being led into Johnston County Courthouse (Mickey Lamm/WTSB Radio)

December 2, 2010 3:00:19 PM PST
A woman was arrested Thursday morning for the murder of an 80-year old retired truck driver and broker in Johnston County.

Crystal Worley, 37, or 336 Napoleon Road in Selma, is charged with first degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the death of James "Tom" Cooper.

Johnston County Sheriff's officers made the arrest and executed a search warrant on Worley's home around 6:30 a.m.

Cooper was found dead in his home on Crumpler Road in Kenly on June 8. Arrest warrants say he was killed June 5.

The warrants also reveal new details about the crime. Worley allegedly stole a black onyx ring and a wallet with $526 in cash. The warrant also says a hatchet was used in the murder. A previously released autopsy said Cooper had died from blunt force trauma to the head. Authorities said in a search warrant released in June that Cooper was found lying in a pool of blood, with one shoe off and half his dentures on the floor.

Sheriff Steve Bizzell said Thursday that Crystal Worley had befriended Cooper and had been doing house and yard work for him.

Bizzell said no other arrests are pending in the investigation at this time.

(With information from Mickey Lamm, WTSB Radio)

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