2 additional suspects charged in quadruple murder

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Authorities in Halifax County have arrested two more men in connection to the August killings of a former Wilson hairdresser and her husband and another couple in an Enfield-area home.

Keyon Quarice West, 23, and James Edward Powell, 25, both of Roanoke Rapids, were charged with four counts each of felony murder, according to court records.

Peggy Jo Whitley, 67, her husband, 76-year James Whitley, and another married couple, 72-year-old Janice Harris and 88-year-old James Harris, were found shot to death after a home invasion.

The arrests came after a continuous investigation by deputies and agents from the State Bureau of Investigation, according to Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp’s Facebook page. The investigation in the case in ongoing.

“Due to the integrity of this case and respect to the families, no further information will be released at this time,” Tripp said in a statement.

In October, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office arrested its first suspect in the case, 25-year-old Matthew Simms of Enfield. He also faces four counts of felony murder, according to court records.

Peggy Jo, who was well-known in Wilson, retired from Ross McDaniel Salon two years ago. She worked at the salon for more than a decade, commuting to Wilson from Enfield.

Investigators have said they believe the killings were gang-related and the home was specifically targeted.

On Aug. 20, deputies responded to 980 Fishing Creek Road outside Enfield in the Glenview community near N.C. 48 and the Nash County line. Deputies found the homeowners, James and Janice Harris, along with the Whitleys. The couples had been shot multiple times, according to state officials.

The victims had been shot through a glass door and killed while they sat playing cards at the dining room table, according to the governor’s office. Robbery appears to be the motive, state officials said.

Halifax County sheriff’s officials have said there were no signs of a struggle but that there were signs of forced entry and there were items missing from the Harris home.

Peggy Jo, who grew up in Bailey, was a hairdresser here for more than 40 years. She had previously owned her own salon in Wilson called the Golden Comb.

Anyone with information in this case should contact the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office at 252-583-8201, CrimeStoppers at 252-583-4444 or the State Bureau of Investigation at 919-777-8188.