NEWTON, N.C. — Catawba County deputies arrested and charged Jeffery Brittain, 23, in the murder of Justin Smith Friday.
The grand jury has indicted Jeffrey Brittain for murder. Deputies are executing a search warrant for the murder weapon at his home, authorities said.
A second man was arrested Wednesday in connection with the case.
A man went to the home on Ball Park Road in Newton to cut grass and noticed one of the windows was shattered, and when he looked inside, he found Smith dead in the recliner, deputies said.
Investigators believe Brittain fired a shotgun through a window and killed Smith.
"We're uncertain still yet if he had any idea that anyone held animosity towards him. That's one of the questions we're trying to answer," Catawba County Lt. Aaron Turk said.
Investigators believe the motive for the shooting was over a girl. Investigators said Brittain didn't know the victim before the shooting.
Authorities wouldn't release any more details of the relationship but family members are in disbelief and said it could have been handled differently.
"Fight with your fist and settle it that way. But, no, they just pull a gun and shoot you for nothing, you know," Barry Crouse, Smith's cousin, said.
Many people who live nearby said they don't feel safe anymore, even with Brittain's arrest.
"For a 19-year-old to lose his life over a girl, that's childish," neighbor Andrea Kurczi said. "It's scary. I stay down here by myself. I'll be locking my doors.
Brittain made his first court appearance Monday. Prosecutors said they plan to take the case to the grand jury.
Brittain was given no bond.
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