Mayor, wife found slaughtered in home

The mayor of a North Carolina town and his wife were fatally gunned down this week, and two men police believe responsible for the killings are in custody.

Multiple news organizations are reporting that the bodies of Gary and Jackie Dawn Skelton were discovered in their home Thursday, according to the New York Post.

Gary Skelton was the mayor of Leggett, North Carolina, a rural town of fewer than 60 people.

Authorities have charged 25-year-old Keith Williams and 18-year-old Mitchell Brinson each with first-degree murder, the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office has said.

The News and Observer reports that Williams was released from prison on parole about a week before the victims were found. He has been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and felony larceny, court records show.

The sheriff’s office initially declined to release the names of the victims, but Leggett Town Commissioner Teresa Summerlin confirmed to news organizations that the victims were the Skeltons, according to the report.

When Jackie Skelton didn’t show up for work as a hospital oncology nurse on Thursday, her colleagues reportedly asked police to conduct a welfare check. That’s when the gruesome discovery was made.

Gary Skelton, a retired banker, was serving his second term as mayor.

The Skeltons had moved to North Carolina from Georgia about two decades ago. They had recently returned from Georgia where they were babysitting their grandchildren, Summerlin said.

“They were the epitome of good people,” Summerlin said in an interview with the Charlotte Observer. “It’s devastating. It’s nauseating. This community has lost two very special people.”