Couple talks about final moments before NC fugitive taken into custody after manhunt

North Carolina news

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Robert Lee Strother had his first appearance in court Monday morning and is now being held at the W.E. “Billy” Smith Detention Center in Kinston.

Strother’s bond was set at $5 million. He was formally charged in court Monday with the following:

  • Two counts of attempted first-degree murder
  • Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflict deadly injury
  • Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflict serious injury
  • Discharging weapon in an occupied building
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Robbery with a dangerous weapon
  • Felony larceny
  • Felony possession of stolen goods
  • Felony possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Misdemeanor resisting arrest and obstruct/delay

Strother was also assigned a public defender during the hearing. Since the manhunt ended in an officer-involved shooting, the State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to conduct an investigation.

Residents who spoke with WNCT said are glad the whole ordeal is over and that Strother is in custody.

“I knew him but I didn’t know him real good,” said Terry Taylor. “I knew he was trouble.”

Taylor arrived at home on Saturday and found Strother outside with a gun. He and his wife acted fast, calling 911. Less than 15 minutes later, Taylor said he saw flashing blue lights coming from both directions toward his home.

“He (Strother) looked and he said ‘Oh man’ because there was a whole line of them just waiting,” Taylor said.

Taylor said Strother ran to a nearby barn and was cornered by officers.

“Two SWAT teams went down there on ’em, hollering at him, telling him to stop and everything, and he wouldn’t stop, so that’s when they shot at him,” Taylor said.

The family of Kenny Goff, the man who was also shot in addition to the Lenoir County deputy Steven Key, say Goff is doing OK as he continues to recover in the hospital. There is no timetable for when he could be released from the hospital.

Friends and family have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help pay for Goff’s medical expenses.

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