Clayton woman charged with murder in son's Christmas Day death

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Elizabeth Wilkins Yarborough is charged with the Christmas Day murder of her son, Ben.

A Clayton woman has been charged in the shooting death of her 32-year-old son on Christmas Day.

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Police arrested 57-year-old Elizabeth Wilkins Yarborough on Wednesday at her home on Stetson Lane in Clayton. She is charged with second-degree murder in the death of James Benjamin Yarborough Jr.

Elizabeth Wilkins Yarborough



On December 25, Elizabeth Yarborough called 911 to her home at Riverwood Haven senior apartments and told dispatchers she needed help for her son. When Clayton police officers arrived, they found James Yarborough lying just inside the apartment with a single gunshot wound to his head.

According to investigators, James "Ben" Yarborough, a water meter attendant for the City of Raleigh, was visiting his mom for Christmas. He had a conceal carry permit so he had a gun with him.



Elizabeth Yarborough initially told officers that her son had shot himself with his gun and his death was a suicide.

When officers arrived, they said she made a stunning remark.

"I think it was probably an hour or so after the initial officers got there and assessed the scene, she made a spontaneous utterance to one of the officers that she thought she may have fired the gun that killed her son," said Clayton Police Chief Blair Myhand.



After an investigation, Clayton detectives were able to establish probable cause for second-degree murder charges, police said.

Elizabeth Yarborough is being held without bond in the Johnston County Detention Center in Smithfield.

Yarborough's first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.

This is only the third murder case in Clayton in the past four years.

Related Topics:
fatal shootingmother chargedjohnston county newsmurderhomicide investigationClaytonJohnston County
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