UPDATE: Manslaughter Charge Dropped In Grifton Shooting

A Grifton man will not face manslaughter charges for the death of his cousin on May 26th.

Police chief Warren Morrisette tells WITN News that through further investigation they have determined that Ronald Brown Jr. fired in self defense.

Killed was Brown's cousin, Marquis Graham. Police say Graham attacked Brown with a knife.

The district attorney dropped the voluntary manslaughter charge last Thursday.

Brown is still facing a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and is due in court today on that charge.


Grifton police say a deadly shooting Tuesday afternoon may have been a case of self defense.

Police also say the man arrested for pulling the trigger is related to the dead man. Both the suspected shooter and the victim have criminal records and were released from prison in the last 12 months.

34-year-old Ronald Brown Jr. of Grifton was in court Wednesday morning. His bond was set at $50,000. Half of that is for a voluntary manslaughter charge. The other half is for a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His next court date was set for June 10.

Police Chief Warren Morrisette tells WITN that the victim, Marquis Graham, was on a bicycle at Church and Queen streets. The chief says Graham approached Brown, who was a passenger in a car.

Witnesses told police that Graham had a knife and attempted to stab Brown. Authorities say during a scuffle a single shot was fired, hitting Graham in the chest.

Morrisette says the two men were cousins and had a long-standing feud.

According to the North Carolina Department of Corrections, Brown was convicted in 1997 of robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon. He was released from prison in 2008.

The corrections website lists Brown with 19 infractions during his time behind bars, including substance possession, disobeying orders and threatening to harm or injure staff. Brown also has other convictions for drug possession and assaulting a public official dating back to 1993.

Graham's online records show he had convictions for common law robbery and assault. He was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 2005 and was released in January 2009.

The corrections website lists Graham with 47 infractions during his time behind bars, including active rioting, lock tampering, assaulting staff with a weapon, flooding cell, involvement with a gang and fighting.

He also has convictions for assault dating back to 2001.


WITN has learned police have charged a man in a shooting in broad daylight.

Ronald Jerome Brown, Jr., 34, of MLK Junior Drive in Grifton is behind bars. Pitt County Detention Center records show Brown is charged with voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Grifton Police Chief Warren Morrisette says Marquis Graham was shot in the chest at the corner of Queen and Church Streets in Grifton around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Chief Morrisette said there is evidence Brown may have shot Graham in self-defense, but that which is reflected in the charge of voluntary manslaughter over murder.

Brown's bond is set at $25,000. His previous convictions include armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon


Previous story

A potential suspect is in police custody, Grifton Police Chief Warren Morrisette says Ronald Jerome Brown, Jr. is being interviewed and charges will likely be filed Tuesday night into Wednesday morning about a shooting that took place Tuesday.

Pitt County authorities say the shooting killed one man and placed a nearby elementary school on alert.

It happened around 1:20 p.m. in Grifton, at the corner of Queen & Church Streets.

Grifton Police Chief Warren Morrisette says Marquis Graham was shot in the middle of the street.

The 25-year-old Graham was wounded in the chest and died later at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

Pitt County Schools says Grifton Elementary School was placed on a modified lock down Tuesday afternoon. Spokeswoman Heather Mayo says parents were still allowed to pick up their children and school dismissed at regular time.


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