Pitt County man accused of killing neighbors takes plea deal

By: Carly Swain
By: Carly Swain
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A man on trial for killing a Pitt County couple has taken a plea deal in the middle of his trial.

Joey Owens was accused in the 2011 murders of Samuel Bradley and Alice Hardy, both who had been shot to death.

The two lived on Roberts Drive and were neighbors of Owens.

Owens plead guilty to two counts of second degree murder, and will serve a minimum of 30 years in prison.

Yesterday, the man's former girlfriend testified that Owens said he killed the couple, dumped the murder weapon in a pond, and burned his shoes and clothes.


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Testimony began late Monday afternoon in the trial of a Pitt County man accused of killing his neighbors more than three years ago.

In September of 2011, deputies were called to a mobile home on Roberts Drive after neighbors complained of a foul odor.

Investigators said that was where they found Samuel Bradley and Alice Hardy shot to death, their bodies left to decompose.

At the time, documents showed one witness heard Joey Owens say he was going to get Bradley after a theft at his home.

Amber Davis, who was Owens' live-in girlfriend, testified that Owens told her he had killed the couple. She told jurors that Owens asked for Clorox, said he dumped the murder weapon in a pond, and burned his shoes and clothes.

Davis added that Owens told her he first shot Bradley twice in the head and then shot Hardy "more than once."

The judge said the double murder trial should take most of the week.


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Court documents say two people may have been killed over the theft of a flat screen television "and some other stuff" when the murder suspect was recently in jail.

Joey Owens was arrested last week for the September 30th murders of Samuel Bradley and Alice Hardy. Their badly decomposed bodies were found in a Robert Drive mobile home after neighbors had complained of a foul odor.

According to search warrants obtained by WITN News for Owens' mobile home on Birchwood Drive, the two were found in the kitchen of the Robert Drive residence and deputies discovered five discarded .32 caliber shell casings. The autopsy said the two had been shot multiple times in the head and had been dead for three to five days.

One man told investigators that he saw Owens go into the couple's home four days before they were found dead. The man said Owens was wearing "all black clothing", according to the affidavit.

That same man said he had bought illegal drugs from Owens in the past and numerous friends and family members said the two victims both smoked crack cocaine. According to the affidavit, the man said Owens had said he was going to get Bradley because of the thefts from his trailer.

Owens' girlfriend told investigators that Bradley and Hardy had been to their home that Monday night "and drank a few beers with Joey". She said the two victims left with Owens and when he came back 30-40 minutes later he was "all hot and sweaty."

Owens was arrested Wednesday morning and remains in jail on a $2,000,000 bond.


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The man accused of killing two of his neighbors made a brief court appearance at the Pitt County Detention Center this morning.

Joey Owens was arrested early Wednesday morning for the deaths of Samuel Bradley and Alice Hardy. Their two decomposed bodies were found September 30th in a trailer on Robert Drive after neighbors complained of a foul odor. An autopsy showed both victims had been shot in the head multiple times.

Owens made his first court appearance this morning before a district judge who set his bond at $2,000,000.

The man also has several pending drug charges. His next scheduled court date on the murder counts is set for October 27th.


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Pitt County deputies have made an arrest in a double homicide that happened late last month.

Joey Owens was booked into the Pitt County jail this morning on two counts of murder. He's being held without bond.

Investigators tell WITN News that Owens was arrested for the deaths of Samuel Bradley and Alice Hardy. They say the 34-year-old Owens lives in the neighborhood where the bodies were found.

The two bodies were discovered in a Robert Drive mobile home on September 30 after neighbors complained of a bad odor. Officials say the bodies had been in the home for several days. The Medical Examiner says the two died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

Sheriff Neil Elks says Owens was arrested early this morning by U.S. Marshals after a traffic stop on Eastern Pines Road.

Owens has several pending drug charges in Pitt County as well as a possession of a firearm by a felon charge.

His prior convictions include simple assault and breaking and entering.


Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks plans to hold a press conference this morning to update the double homicide case of Samuel Bradley and Alice Hardy.

Jail records show that Joey Owens was brought in this morning on two murder counts and is being held without bond. WITN News is checking to see if Owens' arrest is connected to the deaths of Bradley and Hardy.

The two bodies were found in a mobile home on September 30 after neighbors complained of a bad odor. Officials say the bodies had been in the home for several days. The Medical Examiner says the two died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

Sheriff Elks is planning a press conference for 11 a.m. Wednesday. WITN will update you on the latest with the case.



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The second body found a week ago in a Pitt County mobile home has now been identified.

The Medical Examiner's Office says the body of Alice Hardy has been positively identified.

Hardy, and Samuel Bradley, were found dead at the mobile home on Robert Drive last Friday afternoon when neighbors complained about a foul odor.

Sheriff Neil Elks says the two bodies had been there for at least three days.

The autopsy says both Bradley and Hardy were shot multiple times in the head. Elks says in August there was a reported shooting at the residence.

Crimestoppers is offering up to a $5,000 reward which leads to the arrest and conviction of their killer.


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The Pitt County Sheriffs Office continues to investigate what the Medical Examiner's Office now says is a double homicide. The two decomposed bodies were found Friday afternoon in a mobile home on Robert Drive.

The Medical Examiner's Office says the cause of death for the man and woman were multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

The identity of one victim is confirmed as Samuel Bradley. The second victim's identification has not yet been confirmed.

Pitt County deputies say people in the neighborhood where the bodies were found aren't talking to them. They hope a Crimestoppers reward up to $5,000 will help spur information about the case.


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Pitt County lawmen say people in the neighborhood where two bodies were found last Friday aren't talking to them and they hope a Crimestoppers reward up to $5,000 will help spur information. Sheriff Neil Elks says the deaths were not accidental.

What are believed to be the bodies of Levon Bradley and Alice Hardy were found in their mobile home on Robert Drive after neighbors complained about an odor.

Sheriff Elks today says there is still not a positive ID of the two victims, and while there is no cause of death yet, he says it was not an accident. Elks says he believes that someone in the neighborhood knows what happened.

The sheriff says it appears the bodies were in the mobile home for a minimum of three days.

Elks says in August there was a reported shooting at the residence.


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Authorities hope to learn more today after autopsies are performed on two decomposed bodies found Friday afternoon in Pitt County.

Neighbors complaining of a bad odor from the mobile home on Robert Drive brought deputies there around 3:30 p.m.

The Medical Examiner's Office says they should have the autopsies finished by this afternoon on the bodies of Levon Bradley and Alice Hardy.

Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks says the man and woman lived at the mobile home. He says their bodies were there for four or five days. Elks says the bodies were decomposed to the point that the autopsy would be needed to confirm their identities.

Deputies are still investigating the deaths as suspicious.

Robert Drive is off of Barrus Construction Road, northwest of Greenville.


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Pitt County deputies say they are investigating a suspicious death of a man and woman found dead inside a home.

Spokeswoman Christy Wallace says a neighbor on Robert Drive smelled an odd odor coming from the home and called deputies.

Deputies found two people dead inside the house around 3:30 p.m.

Wallace says they are classifying the deaths as suspicious. Investigators in protective suits were seen collecting evidence from the mobile home Friday afternoon.

Sheriff Neil Elks says the department is in the process of notifying relatives of their deaths so he could not yet release the names of the deceased.

According to Wallace deputies were called to the same home a few weeks ago in reference to a shooting there. No one was injured in the shooting at the time.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mad Location: Greenville on Oct 18, 2011 at 05:26 AM
    This is an outrage!! This man is innocent! Leave him alone. He lived close to the victims so police want to acccuse the closest criminal around them. True Joeys no angel but he is NOT a KILLER.Go find the man who really did this!!!
    • reply
      by AGREED on Feb 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM in reply to Mad
      I AGREE AND I HAVENT SEEN HIM IN A WHILE. HE WASNT AN ANGEL, BUT I CANT FATHIM HIM KILLING SOMEONE…
  • by Two and Two Location: Greenville NC on Oct 17, 2011 at 10:43 PM
    If they come back hot and sweaty they probably murdered someone.
    • reply
      by speakmymind on Oct 18, 2011 at 05:22 AM in reply to Two and Two
      Please READ before you post it said HE came back hot and sweaty! NOT THEY....
      • reply
        by v a on Oct 26, 2011 at 05:26 AM in reply to speakmymind
        da girl friend....know.....
  • by Personally Involved Location: greenville on Oct 14, 2011 at 01:16 PM
    Noone knows what exactly happened just because he has been accussed of this crime & has a crime related past everyone wants to judge this man guilty. There are plenty of cold-hearted murders and criminals in Pitt Co. just watch the news they are up there every night, but because Joey lived beside them & knew them he is automaticaly guilted Im sure they had other enemies to. Joey never seemed to be a killer to me always smiling and was a great friend of my family let the evidence prove him guilty or not..Praying for all families involved..
    • reply
      by Anon on Oct 16, 2011 at 05:03 PM in reply to Personally Involved
      Neither did the Son Of Sam!!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Oct 14, 2011 at 10:12 AM
    Yes he killed two people,but he also has 2 wonderful kids that will never see him or he wont see them grow.That goes for the victims also.My heart goes out to the owens famiy,and the victims.Owens just wont in the right frame of mind ,just cant belive what he has done.He is not perfect Who is!He will get what coming to him,But all these bad comments he does have people that loves him!TAKE IT EASY!!Its all in the hands of the law.
  • by Just ME ! on Oct 13, 2011 at 08:25 AM
    by disgusted on Oct 7, 2011 at 02:59 PM in reply to greenville mom Please, those of U from up NAWTH that have migrated south, who want to complain about our southern hospitality, please speak with MY new neighbors from Penn., we made supper for them while they were unloading in the middle of the summer, invited them to church, which they now attend and LOVE, had their kids to a sleep over with our grands, walked them thru Hurrican Irene and calmed thier fears, AND after only being @ his new job for a few weeks, when Irene hit, when only ONE generator was offered from his company, the other guys backed up and said "here man, U take it! we all have family here and u'r new with kids, so U take it! Now THAT is what we call SOUTHERN HOSPITALTY! there R self-centered IDIOTS above and below the MASON DIXON!!! GIVE IT A REST! Not happy here? the same road that brought ya down will take U up! *************************************************** NOW THIS COMMENT WAS WORTH READING ! LOVED IT!
  • by Anonymous on Oct 12, 2011 at 08:34 PM
    I feel for the people who lost their lives and their family, but I also feel for Joey's family. He came from a wonderful loving mother. That just proves that you can raise your kids to have morals and values, but you can't control their actions once the world gets a hold of them.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 12, 2011 at 03:42 PM
    what are u talking about?????? did u graduate school?? ur spelling is pathetic!!!!!
    • reply
      by Duh on Oct 12, 2011 at 04:17 PM in reply to
      Ha Ha. You can not be serious...
    • reply
      by nightrain on Oct 13, 2011 at 08:44 AM in reply to
      If you're going to criticize someone's spelling, at least spell "you" and "your" correctly in the text. By the way, there should be only one question mark at the end of a sentence, and sentences should start with a capital letter.
  • by R U Serious??? Location: Greenville on Oct 12, 2011 at 03:00 PM
    Why is it everytime something happens it is about race??? Two people lost their lives to ignorance.. It doesnt matter what color you are. Grow up people...It is 2011...
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Oct 12, 2011 at 06:21 PM in reply to R U Serious???
      No does not matter about race, but guess what I have only read one comment calling this man a name.(thug) If he was black he would be so many names it would not be funny. Even the black people would be calling him names.
  • by Anonymous Location: greenville on Oct 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM
    im praying for the family who lost their loved ones maybe this time he wont get away with it
  • by Merita Location: Pitt County on Oct 12, 2011 at 09:44 AM
    Now the law have their man that murder those people in that trailer park.The public wants to know are yall the court systemgoing to give him the death penalty or let him spend life like the rest of the white people that was convicted of a crime. The black man yall put him to death yall will not him achance to live but yall let a white man walk give him life in prison know he is guilty just like any other man that did the same crime it's not fair if the law going to kill a black man for murder that should go for any other man murder is murder it does not matter the color of their skin. I feel so sorry for the family that lost loved one over case 22 years ago and the person spent over 20 years in prison and thier was no evidence he should have been set free. And went to his grave saying he was innocent. The law is crookedness but the man(GODALMIGHTY)sees everything yall people that are in the seats just as sneaky as the devil himself. What goes around comes back around can't nobody hide from him. Yall judges,lawyers,cops,sheriffs,da attorneys keep doing what are doing the blacks hispanic and any other fair justice yall are goinhg to get it back. Yall people do things under cover but GOD watching. You can predudice against all other race except the white what kind of heaven you think you're too, because it show ain't HEAVEN.GOD IS lOVE he love us all not just 1 color of people we all need to be getting our souls right. Get ready to leave this world we all going to spend it somewhere HELL or HEAVEN. Which one you LIFE ETERNAL or Eternal Damnation.GOD IS THE JUDGE!!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Oct 12, 2011 at 05:12 PM in reply to Merita
      First of all race is not the issue here. secondly for you to say the law has their man is not true...what happened to innocent until proven guilty? I am in no way trying to defend this person but he has not been convicted only charged at this point. And last but not least please learn
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Oct 12, 2011 at 05:19 PM in reply to Merita
      First of all you cannot say the law has their man...what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Second, please learn elementary grammor before you post comments that make you look unintelligent, all of those run-on sentences and ghetto talk can be misinterpreted. Last i would like to say i am in no way trying to defend this person, but what does race have to do with anything that black/white card is way outdated!!! Go back to School.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Oct 13, 2011 at 02:27 PM in reply to Merita
      Can you say pulling the race card?
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