Babies present when man murdered during drug deal near Holly Springs, warrants show

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) -A Wake County man is accused of bringing two babies with him to a drug deal that turned deadly Monday afternoon. 

Deputies arrested 25-year-old James Adam Hooker early Tuesday morning for the murder of Michael Farrington, who was 36, officials said.

Investigators charged Hooker with first-degree murder and two counts of felony child abuse inflicting serious mental or physical injury. 

Hooker’s arrest warrants said he had a one-year-old and a two-week-old with him when he left home in order to purchase narcotics. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said Hooker’s girlfriend was also in the car.

Investigators said Hooker got into a fight with Farrington shortly before witnesses on Arrowhead Drive heard shots fired around 5:40 p.m. Monday. Several of Farrington’s extended family members live along the road, which is between Holly Springs and Apex.

Farrington’s father, Michael Simms, said his son suffered from debilitating seizures. Farrington was unable to work and lived with his father, who said the devastating death is still sinking in.

“Every morning when I went to work I would always mess with him before I go out the door. He’d talk junk to me, just in a playful way,” Simms said.

“Not anymore. I know he’s not coming in anymore. He’s not coming in through that door anymore. That’s the sad part, because he’s been there all the time.”

Farrington leaves behind two sons and a daughter who lives in Boston. Simms said the whole family is taking the loss hard.

Simms went Tuesday to the site where Farrington died, and found a section of a gravel driveway stained with his son’s blood.

“I just came this morning to see exactly where he was. He was laying on the ground, so I wanted to see where he was laying,” Simms said.

“I spoke to him two hours before he died. I was messing with him. He just got his haircut, and I said ‘it’s about time you got the mess off your face and everything.’ I spoke to him,” he said.

“I went home. I was cutting grass. I didn’t even know what happened to him until I got a phone call letting me know that my son had just got shot.”

Simms said he hopes his son’s accused killer will never get out of jail, because he doesn’t want Hooker to hurt anyone else.

Hooker made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon. District Judge Eric Chasse told Hooker that the punishment for the crimes could be as severe as the death penalty.

The first-degree murder charge could carry a sentence of life imprisonment, but the case could be prosecuted as capital murder because of additional felony charges.

Hooker’s arrest warrant said the infants present during the shooting suffered “serious mental injury” due to what transpired while they were in his care.

His bond for the child abuse charges is $100,000 but court officials issued no bond for the murder charge.

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