Husband charged with murder in woman’s death

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FREMONT — Sheriff’s deputies have charged a man with murder in his wife’s death a week after her body was found in the couple’s rural Wayne County home.

Timmie Lee Batts, 56, of 105 R&M Circle outside Fremont, was arrested Friday on an open count of murder. Deputies were called to the home on March 15 and found wife Janet Batts dead in her bedroom, according to Capt. Shawn Harris of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

Harris said an autopsy completed last Tuesday revealed that Janet Batts died due to blunt-force trauma to the head. Authorities haven’t said whether a weapon was used in her killing.

Investigators reviewed evidence in the case and charged Timmie Batts with murder after consulting with the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office. Harris said the investigation into the killing continues.

“Sheriff (Larry) Pierce would like to thank the family, neighbors and friends that came forward to assist us with this investigation,” Harris said in a news release. “Pierce also wanted to thank the detective division for all the long hours and hard work that have gone into this case.”

Timmie Batts was booked into the Wayne County Detention Center in Goldsboro. A magistrate denied bond in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sgt. Scott Mohiser at 919-580-4092 or Crime Stoppers at 919-735-2255.

Janet Batts’ death is the third homicide reported in the Fremont area since June 2018.

On Dec. 15, 43-year-old Nacarsa Ronyell Ford was gunned down outside a Goldsboro Street home in the Fremont town limits. Three people have been charged with first-degree murder in Ford’s death.

Wayne County deputies and State Bureau of Investigation agents are still probing the June 16 homicide of 65-year-old Floyd Anthony “Andy” Evans, a former Fremont mayor.

Evans’ body was found in the garage of an Evans Farm Road home just outside the town limits near Interstate 95. In August, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.