It all started last Sunday when the family of Patrick McClendon reported him missing from 809 Lakeview Drive in Marshville North Carolina. Tony Blakeney, a friend of McCClendon's, was aware of the search and found the car McClendon was last seen driving hidden on the Blakeney family's property, located at 3700 Eliza Rushing Road in Marshville at around 5:45 P.M. yesterday. A 9-1-1 call was made to report the car being found to police.
Meanwhile, about a dozen of McClendon's friends and family went to Blakeney's house because they heard the car was found. While there, the group began to accuse Blakeney and his brother Shelton Blakeney of having something to do with McClendon's disappearance. The group allegedly began punching and kicking Tony Blakeney, which caused fatal injuries.
A Union County Sheriff's detective, responding to the initial 9-1-1 call, arrived to find the worked up crowd, who then focused their anger on the officer. The deputy immediately called for back-up and when officers finally secured the scene, they found Blakeney, lying on the ground, seriously injured. Blakeney was transported to CMC-Union, where he later died from his injuries.
As Sheriff's investigators and members of the SBI processed the crime scene, the got a tip by telephone from a person who had information about the McClendon disappearance. After Deputies met with Leonard Staton, they charged him with the murder of Patrick McClendon. From the information Staton gave officers, they found McClendon's body in a wooded area near the Blakeney house.
Authorities do not believe Tony Blakeney has any connection to the murder of Patrick McClendon. "It appears that he was simply trying to notify authorities about finding the car," said Sheriff Eddie Cathey. "instead, this group of people decided to act on inaccurate information and conjecture, which resulted in the tragic death of Tony Blakeney."
Deputies charged ten individuals in the attack on Blakeney. They are all being held without bond in the Union County jail, pending a district court date of October fourth.
Arrested and charged with the murder of Tony Blakeney are: Brandon McClendon of Marshville, Rick Nelson of Marshville, Jermaine Howard of Wingate, Rodney Belk JR of Marshville, Shaun Burns of Peachland, Curtic White of Monroe, Timothy Streater of Marshville, Wendell Robinson of Monroe, Terry Barrino of Monroe, and Terry McClendon of Marshville.