Teen son charged with killing mother in home


Investigators said last month that 33-year-old Letitia Hammond's daughter came home and found her shot to death at their house at 710 S. Carolina Avenue on June 15.

Police said her son is charged with first-degree murder and has a hearing in Vance County District Court Friday. The teen was in the custody of Juvenile Services.

Investigators have not offered a motive for the alleged murder. They've said from the beginning that they didn't believe the killing was a random act.

Hammond was a mother of three - two girls and the 15-year-old boy. Neighbors interviewed in June described her as a quiet woman who spent a lot of time with her kids.

Longtime friend Vergia Hayes said she was stunned when she got the news of Hammond's death.

"I was devastated because she's a very sweet person," she said.

Hammond's pastor, C.J. Dale, spent Wednesday counseling the Hammond family after they learned of the charges.

"There have been a lot of rumors going around that he and his mother were at war," Dale said. "There's no validity to that."

He doesn't think the teen was capable of harming his mother. Dale says the boy had a good relationship with his mother and two sisters.

"The son loved his mother, I believe that, I really do," Dale added.

But there are several unanswered questions about Hammond's death.

Why would anyone want to harm her? By all accounts, she was a sweet woman.

Police will only say it wasn't a robbery and that their investigation continues, which offers hope to family and friends who believe someone else is responsible.

"You've just got to pray for this family and continue to help them through this very difficult time," Dale said. "I think that we need to continue to wait over the next days and weeks to come and to see if there are going to be any more charges filed against anyone else."

At the 15-year-old's Friday court appearance, a judge could decide to charge him as an adult.

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