Man held in stabbing murder of roommate

Mar. 11, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

A local man is behind bars in connection with the fatal stabbing of his roommate.

Lynard Jerome McCormick, 30, of the 1100 block of Juniper Drive, was charged with murder Sunday afternoon after authorities found Williams Amail Howard, 28, of the same address, lying outside the Westrose Village Apartments with a puncture wound in his neck at 8:40 a.m., according to Sanford Police Capt. Harold Layton. Howard was pronounced dead at the scene.

A neighbor said she was woken up by police sirens and saw a man lying face down on the pavement outside the apartment complex. He had no shoes, and his shirt was pulled up over his face, she said.

The victim reportedly stayed at the suspect’s apartment “on and off,” Layton said. Authorities believe the victim was stabbed with a knife — or at the very least, a sharp object — but the incident remains under investigation, he added.

McCormick had his first appearance in court Monday and is being held at the Lee County Jail with no bond. He served more than a year in prison after being convicted of selling a schedule II controlled substance in 2006.

The city of Sanford has seen an apparent uptick in violence in recent months.

Two Lee County men were charged with murder on March 1 in connection with the fatal shooting of a Harnett County man on Feb. 26, and two Sanford Police officers and two local teenagers exchanged gunfire on Feb. 22, with both teens charged with attempted murder. 

According to the North Carolina Department of Justice criminal statistics, the Sanford Police Department reported four murders in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The numbers for 2013 have not been released yet; however, there were three reported homicides in December 2013 alone for local police.