Second man arrested in shooting death of woman involved in meth deal in Rowan County

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A second man was arrested for his involvement in the shooting death of a woman found in a car outside a Salisbury convenience store last weekend, according to Rowan County deputies.

Deputies have charged 36-year-old James Christopher Rife, of Cleveland, North Carolina, in the murder of 25-year-old Lakyn Bailey. Rife was already in jail on unrelated charges before being identified as a person of interest, deputies said.

Joshua Wade Kennedy, 35, was arrested earlier in the week.

Officials said Kennedy was registered as a sex offender in West Virginia, and had been living in Iredell and Rowan counties.

(Joshua Kennedy, Christopher Rife)

Rife and Kennedy are charged with murder and attempted robbery, and are in jail with no bond.

Officers said Bailey was found dead from a single gunshot wound in a car driven by her friend, Jason Cranfill, 41, around 1:30 a.m. Sunday at the Country Cupboard on Statesville Boulevard.

[ALSO READ: Suspect arrested in connection with double homicide at Salisbury park]

During the course of the investigation, detectives said they discovered Bailey was staying at a motel in Statesville and was involved in illegal drug sales.

Officials said Cranfill was taken into custody and charged with felony possession of methamphetamine.

Jason Donald Cranfill

(Jason Cranfill)

Rowan County deputies said that, on the day of the murder, Bailey traveled from Statesville to Rowan County in the Woodleaf Road area, where the crime occurred.

Store employees said Cranfill drove Bailey to the store in an effort to get help because it was the closest place that was open at the time.

"I know that everybody is pretty much affected in this community because it's so tight,” said Trevor Atwood, who lives nearby.

Officials did not release any information about the suspect in the shooting.

"People hunt during hunting season. You hear it early in the morning and you think somebody is hunting deer,” said Carol Faison, who lives on a farm nearby.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Lt. Chad Moose at 704-216-8687 or Sgt. Rodney Mahaley at 704-216-8711.

This is an ongoing homicide investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com: