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BREAKING NEWS: 'Person of interest' arrested
Crimestoppers tip led to arrest
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The body of Kenneth Wayne Booth, 51, of Eden, N.C., was found Saturday night in the yard of this home at 143 Meeks Road. Police have issued warrants for the arrest of Mark A. Vernon, 45, who lives in the home, on charges of possession of stolen property and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. Vernon is a “person of interest� in the investigation, said Henry County Sheriff’s Lt. Ricky Walker.
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Monday, August 30, 2010

By AMANDA BUCK - Bulletin Staff Writer

The Henry County Sheriff's Office said Monday that that Mark Anthony Vernon was arrested without incident around 10:50 a.m. Monday off of Old Leaksville Road in Ridgeway.

He had been sought in connection with a search warrant issued in the investigation of a Saturday night shooting death in the Ridgeway area.

Vernon, 45, of 143 Meeks Road in Ridgeway, was arrested on the two outstanding warrants for possession of stolen property and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

The arrest came as a result of a Crimestoppers tip. The sheriff's office asks that the public continue to provide help as the investigation continues.

On Sunday, the sheriff's office said Vernon had made contact with authorities and was expected to turn himself in today, according to Henry County Sheriff's Lt. Ricky Walker.

Walker said Vernon is a "person of interest" in the investigation into the death of 51-year-old Kenneth Wayne Booth of Eden, N.C.

The warrants he was served arrested on Monday were issued after police searched Vernon's home on Meeks Road as part of their probe into Booth's death, Walker said.

Vernon has not been charged in connection with Booth's death, Walker said Sunday.

Booth's body was found around 8 p.m. Saturday in the yard of Vernon's home, about 10 feet from Meeks Road, Walker said. Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry has said Booth was shot, but he declined to elaborate on Booth's injuries.

The case is being investigated as a homicide, Perry said Saturday.

Booth's body initially was found by people passing by the area of 143 Meeks Road, Perry has said. They saw a person, realized he was unresponsive and called 911, the sheriff said.

Walker said police believe Booth had not been lying in the yard long when his body was found.

"It was a few minutes, not long," Walker said Sunday. "Maybe 30 minutes."�

After they searched the gray-colored trailer, which has blue shutters, landscaping and numerous small outdoor lights, officers found a four-wheeler that had been reported stolen in Eden, Walker said. It did not belong to Booth, the lieutenant added.

Investigators impounded the four-wheeler, a Honda dirt bike and Booth's motorcycle, which was found parked at the scene, Walker said.

He said it appears that Vernon and Booth were acquainted.

"Our investigation has revealed that (Booth) did go there to see Mr. Vernon, so I'm assuming he (Booth) did know him, or was familiar with him," Walker said.

He declined to comment on a possible motive in the case.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Henry County Sheriff's Office at 638-8751 or Crime Stoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463).

Rewards of up to $1,000 are available through Crime Stoppers for information related to unsolved crimes. The amount of any reward is determined by the nature of the crime and the substance of information provided.


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