Stepfather Charged In Pitt County Homicide Released On Bond, Judge Explains

It's the lowest bond one judge in the east says he's ever set for a man charged with a homicide.

Just two days after 44 year old Alton Modlin, known as Lee, was charged with murdering his stepson in Pitt County, Modlin is no longer behind bars. He was released on bond Monday.

Over the weekend, the body of 25 year old Ricky Whitehurst was found near the Modlin home in Grimesland. At Modlin's first court appearance Monday, chief District Court Judge David Leech, set the bond at 14-thousand dollars despite the DA's office asking for a million. Neighbors say they were shocked.

Modlin's family members says there are a lot of mis-conceptions about what happened that night and requested their privacy

Judge leech explained to WITN, he has never sent a bond that low, but after the plea from Modlin's wife and the victim's mother citing Whitehurst's violent past, his drug and alcohol history and pending court case for assault, judge leech felt he set a proper bond for the circumstances.
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A man police say fatally hit his stepson with the wooden handle of a shovel this weekend has been released on bond.

The bond for Alton Modlin, age 44 of Gaskins Road in Grimesland, was set at $14,000 secured Monday. According to officials, to be released, he had to put up $14,000 in cash, property twice the amount of the bond or have gone through a bail bondsman.

The charge against Modlin listed online does not specify degree but is simply listed as "murder." His next court appearance is scheduled for June 17.

Authorities reported Monday the cause of death for Modlin's stepson was blunt force trauma to the head, and they believe the wooden handle of a shovel was used in the attack.

Authorities say 25-year-old Ricky Whitehurst's body was found Saturday night, across the street from where he and his stepfather had an altercation on Gaskins Road in Grimesland.

Whitehurst had a criminal history. He had just been released from prison in February and was facing new charges, including assault.

Previous information:

Forty-four-year-old Alton Modlin, who lives on Gaskins Road in Grimesland, is charged in his stepson's death and had his first appearance in court Monday morning. His bond was set at $14,000. The charge against Modlin listed online does not specifiy degree but is simply listed as "murder."

As of 3:30 p.m. Monday, Modlin was still at the Pitt County Detention Center.

According to Pitt County investigators, Modlin and Whitehurst got into an alternation between 8:30 and 9:30 Saturday night.

Officials say an autopsy showed Whitehurst died from blunt force trauma to head. The Sheriff's Office says Modlin was intoxicated, and are awaiting autopsy results to see what further role alcohol played in the death.

Online North Carolina court records show a Ricky Allen Whitehurst with the same birthdate as the deceased facing several charges in Pitt County.

A court date of June 4 was set for a felony charge of "assault serious bodily injury."

A court date of July 1 was set for a felony charge of larceny of a motor vehicle, as well as charges of driving while impaired, injury to personal property, possession of prescription drugs without a prescription, driving with license revoked and reckless driving to endanger.

The North Carolina Department of Corrections website shows a record for Ricky Allen Whitehurst.

The online record shows Whitehurst was released from prison in February 2009, after serving time for communicating threats.

Convictions on Whitehurst's record include second degree trespass, simple assault, resisting officer, drunk and disorderly and DWI Level 4.

The North Carolina Department of Corrections website shows a DWI conviction for Alton Lee Modlin in 1990.

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