Text message leads to man's arrest in Spencer homicide

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SPENCER, N.C. - Police in Wrightsville Beach took a man into custody Thursday in connection to a homicide that occurred in Spencer earlier this week.

Officials said the body of a woman, Toney Johnson, was found between two homes in a neighborhood on Fourth Street Wednesday morning.

Police investigated the scene and later said they were looking for Johnson’s ex-husband, Rodney Wallace. They said Wallace should be considered armed and dangerous.

Officers caught up with Wallace in Wrightsville Beach Thursday.

RAW VIDEO: Police bring Rodney Wallace back to Spencer

They said he was sitting in a car outside the town hall with his girlfriend, where the police station is. Police said his girlfriend received a text message on her phone from her mother letting her know that he was suspected of beating and killing Johnson.

The girlfriend jumped out of the car and started screaming in the parking lot that she was with a murderer, according to police.

A parks and rec worker heard her and ran into the police department to get help.

That’s when police came out and took Wallace into custody.

Overnight, Channel 9 was the only TV station in Spencer as police brought Wallace to the jail.

People in the Rowan County are happy he's in custody.

“I was really relieved because it makes the community feel a lot safer,” Linda Miller said. “And it's some closure for the family for sure.”

Channel 9 checked and found Wallace was convicted of assault on a female and domestic criminal trespass just three months ago.


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