John Robert Eames

John Robert Eames

A Rocky Mount man was indicted this week on a charge of first-degree murder, nearly a year after a chaotic series of events that included a fatal Franklin County shooting.

John Robert Eames, 56, also was indicted by the grand jury Nov. 5 on charges of robbery, theft of a gun, use of a gun to commit murder, and two counts of grand larceny.

Eames was first charged Nov. 22, after police responded to a three-vehicle wreck at 400 Old Franklin Turnpike, not far from the Walgreens in Rocky Mount. A carjacking followed the wreck and, soon after that, dispatchers got reports of an armed stand-off about four miles away, in Glade Hill. A suspect fired shots at nearby houses and then, when approached by deputies, turned the gun on himself. He was hospitalized and later recovered, and after his release in December, he was arrested and held without bond.

While investigating the incident, deputies went to a home on Dillard Lane in Rocky Mount and found 80-year-old Dillard Lawson Nolen dead from a gunshot wound.

At the time the incidents were reported, police would not say whether Eames was linked to Nolen’s death.

The indictments issued this week specify that in addition to killing Nolen, Eames is accused of taking from him a gun, wallet, medications and a vehicle, all on the same day.

A second man, Jacob Cotrail Altice, was also indicted this week on a charge of acting as an accessory to Nolen’s homicide after the fact.

Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney A.J. Dudley said Nov. 6 that his office had needed to wait for lab results before it was able to bring indictments in Nolen’s death. He said he could not comment on how Eames knew or had come into contact with Nolen, and he also declined to discuss the charge against Altice.

Earlier this year, Eames was charged with lesser offenses related to the incidents in Glade Hill and on Franklin Turnpike, but those were dropped or continued, respectively.

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