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Nash man charged in aunt’s murder

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A Nash County man is accused of killing his aunt, a Raleigh resident reported missing whose body was found in a shallow grave last week.

Cleavon Royster Williams, 44, of the 4200 block of Biltmore Lane southeast of Spring Hope, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 51-year-old Sarah Denise Patterson.

Sheriff Keith Stone announced Williams’ arrest in a May 22 press conference, adding that 41-year-old April June Smith of the 7200 block of Shady Lane Way south of Spring Hope faced a charge of acting as an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

“My heart goes out to the family that anyone’s life would be ended like this,” Stone said. “It’s very disturbing and as many years as I have been in law enforcement, to see this type of carnage is heartbreaking.”

Investigators have not disclosed a motive in the killing.

Patterson had last been seen May 16 on her nephew’s street. After Nash County deputies announced she’d been reported missing and provided a description of her car, the burgundy 2010 Honda Accord she was driving was discovered on Pleasant Hill Road south of Rocky Mount in Edgecombe County.

Deputies discovered Patterson’s body in a shallow grave off West Old Spring Hope Road.

Williams was jailed without bond and made his first court appearance in the case Thursday.

Smith posted a $25,000 bond on the accessory after the fact charge and was released on the day of her arrest.

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