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UPDATE: Arrest made in Greene County murder

Marqice Grant
Marqice Grant(WITN)
Published: Feb. 3, 2020 at 11:42 PM EST
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Deputies have made an arrest in the murder of a man outside of his home earlier this month.

Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith says that Marqice Grant, 27, was charged with murder, discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling, and discharging a firearm into an enclosure to incite fear.

Back on February 3rd, deputies say that 25-year-old James Royal was shot during a fight outside the Meadow Drive home that he shared with his mother and father.

The sheriff says that Grant was arrested on Monday around 6 p.m. and is being held without bond.

Grant is due in Green County court on March 2nd.


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A father is heartbroken after watching his son die in his arms after a shooting in Greene County.

James Royal was killed outside his home on Meadow Drive on Monday. The Greene County Sheriff's Office says when deputies arrived around 6 p.m., they found Royal had been shot.

Sheriff Lemmie Smith says a fight happened outside of the home prior to the shooting, but James' father, Antonio Royal, says he knows nothing about an altercation.

As the father recalls, it was a normal day as his son came home and went to his room. He says his son went to the kitchen and later went outside. Moments later, Royal heard multiple gunshots. He says his son walked in the home and said, "I've been hit."

Royal then attempted to perform CPR, but that didn't save him. The man's son died in his arms. He says the 25-year-old was shot through the chest near his heart. He says replaying the series of events in his head is like a bad dream.

"It's like a big nightmare. And it happened so fast. And it doesn't seem real. And I don't believe it," Antonio Royal said.

James Royal was youngest of three children. "Our baby boy: actually, he was a miracle baby. Because he wasn't supposed to have been born.'

The father said his son went to a Super Bowl party but isn't sure of any events that could have lead up to his death. The gunshots liter the front of his home, and one of the bullets went through the couch. He tries to make sense of the shooting.

"It's senseless. It's cowardly. And it just doesn't make any sense," said the father.

He remembers the good things about James Royal. He says his son was outgoing and loved to joke.

"He loved people. And he just...he was full of life."

Royal says no parent should have to go through this.

"You come along. You get married. You have children; betting one day for the children to funeralize you, not the other way around," said Royal.

He asks for prayers for his family.

"Any word of prayer—just pray for me and my family. Keep us lifted up. By the grace of God, we'll get through this."

Sheriff Lemmie Smith and Antonio Royal ask for anyone with information to contact the Greene County Sheriff's Office or the North Carolina SBI.


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Deputies in the east are searching for the person responsible for a shooting that claimed the life of one man Monday.

Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith says deputies were called to a report of a person shot at 235 Brook Meadow Drive at 6 p.m. Monday.

When they arrived, deputies say they found James Royal, 25, had been shot during a fight that happened just outside of the home.

Antonio Royal told WITN that he had picked up his son at work Monday and the two drove home. The father says he heard his son go outside and then heard the gunfire.

Royal says his son came back inside saying he had been hit and that he had been shot near his heart. While his wife called 911, Royal said he performed CPR and that his son died in his arms.

Investigators say they have no suspects as of right now. Sheriff Smith says he has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to assist. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Greene County Sheriff's Office at 252-747-3411 or the North Carolina SBI.

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