SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – The Johnston County man accused of running over an 18-year-old mom with a car and killing her before driving off appeared in court Thursday morning.
The hearing for 23-year-old James Johnson III was brief. He was charged with second-degree murder and felony hit and run causing serious injury or death.
Johnson said his family had plans to hire him a lawyer. He was appointed one in the meantime.
The judge told Johnson the maximum punishment for the second-degree murder charge is more than 32 years in prison. His $500,000 bond was upheld. He is due in court on July 22.
On Monday, 18-year-old Tebria Frazier was killed in what the sheriff’s office called a domestic incident along Vinson Road in Johnston County. Witnesses said Frazier was on the hood of a white SUV that was speeding. She fell off and was likely run over.
Neighbors said they called 911 and ran to help. They found Frazier clutching a windshield wiper blade.
Investigators said the driver never stopped.
Frazier and Johnson had an 8-month-old daughter, Syx.