2 city men charged in separate murders

Staff report

October 31, 2013

LAURINBURG — Two Laurinburg men have been charged with murder in unrelated cases and are being held in jail without bond, authorities said Thursday.

Kamel Stewart, 21, of 306 Wagram St., is being held in the Scotland County jail for the Wednesday killing of Byron Covington, 24, of Butler Street, according to Laurinburg Assistant Police Chief Cliff Sessoms.

Paul Dixon Milligan, 42, of 415 U.S. 15-401, is being held in the Robeson County jail in the killing of a 65-year old disabled man, Ben Franklin Scott, and his caretaker Krystal Long, 28, in Pembroke earlier this year.

Sessoms said officers received a 911 call at about 5 p.m. Wednesday saying Covington had been shot. According to Sessoms, officers found Covington lying in the backyard of a home at 1001 Washington St. with a gunshot wound to the head.

Sessoms said that the investigation is ongoing, but officers have determined that Covington got involved in a dispute between Stewart and an unidentified woman, who has a child with Stewart. The fight escalated, more people became involved and Stewart took out a gun and shot Covington, Sessoms said.

Stewart has been charged with murder, but no degree has been assigned.

“As the investigation continues and as we consult with the District Attorney’s Office the charge could be amended,” Sessoms said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Laurinburg Police Department at 910-276-3211. Callers can remain anonymous.

Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey said interviews with people in the community and an analysis of physical evidence led investigators to Milligan, charged Thursday morning with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of sexual assault.

Scott’s son found his father and Long dead at the home at 10897 Apt. 1, N.C. 711 West, at about 5:30 p.m. on July 2. Sealey would not comment on the cause of the deaths, although he said that has been determined.

Sealey said Milligan used to live in the neighborhood where the murders occurred and he believes Milligan knew the victims. There was no sign of forced entry.

Long, who worked as a nurse, provided care for Scott, who had been injured in a scooter accident.

Robeson County sheriff’s detectives, FBI agents and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led the investigation, which is ongoing.