Father of victim’s girlfriend confesses to Person County shotgun slaying, deputies say

ROXBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – Three people — including a father and daughter — are in custody in connection with the murder of a man in Roxboro, officials say.


The Person County Sheriff’s Office says 50-year-old Dudley Pruitt Jr. confessed to killing Leonard Pettiford.

Pettiford’s son found his body in his home last month after he did not show up for work. One of Dudley’s daughters and another man are also charged in the crime.

CBS North Carolina spoke with Pettiford’s mother who says she’s heartbroken because she saw this coming.

For Vertis Drumgold all that’s left of her son is the photo in her dining room and the haunting thoughts of how he was killed.

The victim, Leonard Pettiford. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

“He was so good to me,” Drumgold said. “He never missed a Friday bringing my dinner and he would always come by to make sure I gave what I need since I got sick. It has been terrible. I can’t sleep. All I do is think about the way it happened and the way his son found him.”

Leonard Pettiford, 51, was killed last month.

On Saturday the Person County Sheriff’s Office said Pettiford’s girlfriend’s father, Dudley Pruitt Jr., confessed to the murder.

The sheriff’s office also arrested his 19-year-old daughter Ashley Pruitt Thursday. She’s charged with murder and non-negligent homicide.

Walter William Kyle Chambers, 21, was also arrested and charged with accessory to murder.

Authorities say Pruitt’s other daughter, who hasn’t been identified was in a relationship with Pettiford. His mother says it was that tumultuous relationship that led to her son’s downfall.

Sheriffs officials say Pettiford was killed in his home by a shotgun blast to the face and torso.

“I just couldn’t take it, it was so hard,” said Drumgold. “It was really hard and I’m still going through it real hard.”

Drumgold says she heard Ashley Pruitt threaten her son more than once.

“Ever since he got involved with this family his life has been different and I’ve been over to his house several times and heard the girl that’s in jail tell him she’s gonna kill him,” Drumgold said.

She says she’s still not sure who pulled the trigger.

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