Suspect in Morehead City murder appears in court

Suspect in Morehead City murder appears in court

MOREHEAD CITY, CARTERET COUNTY - A man accused of Carteret County's first homicide this year made his first appearance Monday morning.

The Morehead City Police Department announced Friday that 26-year-old Stephen Woodrow Hutson has been charged with an open count of murder in the death of 60-year-old Wilbur Wright Blackford.

"Apparently there was some alcohol involved and some sort of an altercation and as a result of that the victim died," District Attorney Scott Thomas said.

According to investigators, Blackford was found dead in his home at the Glenn Grove Mobile Home Park on Feb. 1, 2014. The cause of death was blunt force trauma that was not consistent with a fall.

Thomas said after three weeks of investigating and interviewing Hutson he was arrested and charged with an open count of murder on Friday.

Investigators said Hutson was no stranger to Blackford. Officials said they were close friends and Hutson was even staying in Blackford's home when the murder happened.

District Attorney Scott Thomas said officials are still investigating the motive behind this murder.

Hutson is still being held at the Carteret County Jail without bond. Investigators said his next court appearance is scheduled for March 14th.


Morehead City Police are investigating the events leading up to the death of a 60-year-old man in the Glenn Grove Mobile Home Park.

The Morehead City Police Chief confirmed that the death of 60-year-old Wilbur Wright Blackford marks the city's first murder investigation in 2014.

According to the Morehead City Police Department, officers and EMS workers were dispatched on Sunday to an unresponsive person at Lot 13 of the Glenn Grove Mobile Home Park.

Morehead City Police say the person who placed the 9-1-1 call was an acquaintance of Blackford. 

When investigators arrived, they found Blackford, better known as Woody, dead inside his home, police said. An autopsy was performed the next day, and revealed that the cause of death was due to blunt force trauma to the head not consistent with a fall, according to investigators.

Officers are conducting interviews and gathering details in this case. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Nat Festerman at 252-726-3131.

NewsChannel 12 reached out to neighbors who live in the area to learn more about Blackford. Neighbors describe him as a friendly guy, who kept to himself.

"Woody was an caring extremely caring person, he would take a dog in off the street and feed it, he cared about everybody," said neighbor Frank Stroud. "I hope they catch who did it and give him the max because Woody didn't deserve that, he just didn't deserve it."

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