Knightdale Police investigate first murder-suicide

From staff reportsNovember 8, 2013 

— A couple found dead in their home on Halloween are the town’s first murder-suicide, police said.

Yul Brynner Barber and Veronica Sutton-Wheeler, both 49, were dead when police went to their house on Bellefont Court shortly after 7:30 p.m. Barber was dead of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police have not said how Sutton-Wheeler died.

Barber’s employer and his older brother, Jerome Barber, discovered the bodies, arriving just ahead of police. The employer, whose name was redacted from the incident report, said he was concerned because Barber had “never missed a day of work in his life.”

The employer called Knightdale police earlier in the day and asked them to check on Barber. But police could not get into the house without a family member, so Jerome Barber also went to the couple’s home.

According to a search warrant, the two victims were found on the bed in the master bedroom.

The warrant also says police found two handguns in the home. It is unclear if the guns belonged to Barber or Wheeler-Sutton; new state laws prohibit law enforcement agencies from releasing information about firearms permits.

These are the second and third violent deaths in Knightdale within a month. On Oct. 12, Seanne Winters Barnette was found dead in her home off Hodge Road. Police have said she was murdered, although no one has been charged.

Knightdale Police Chief Jason Godwin recalled an attempted murder-suicide a few years ago, but this was the first case in which two people died.

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