Administrative action in Havelock cases expected

Six suspects are scheduled to appear in Craven Superior Court on Tuesday in connection with three pending homicide cases in the Havelock area.

The cases are listed in the North Carolina Courts calendar website in Craven Superior Courtroom 2 in New Bern. District Attorney Scott Thomas said the cases are scheduled for the administrative session of Craven County Superior Court.

“There will be no final action taken on any of the cases during the next session of court,” Thomas said. “They are all still in the pending status in various stages of complying with discovery requests and considering trial dates for those that may be for trial. Some of them are waiting for test results back from the state crime lab and things of that nature.”

The cases include:

-- Jonathan Pugh, 21, of Havelock, has been incarcerated since April of 2013. He is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Todd North, 39, of Havelock, on April 14, 2013. North was employed as a bouncer at the Flyers Bar on Fontana Boulevard when he was struck by four bullets allegedly fired by Pugh. North had blocked the doorway of the bar when he was shot as Pugh attempted to enter, according to witnesses.

Pugh also faces charges of felony discharging a weapon into an occupied property and five counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflicting serious injury.

On the same morning North was shot, another five people were injured by gunfire inside the bar. Pugh is alleged to have fired a .40-caliber handgun through the door of the bar.

Witnesses said that Pugh had been asked to leave the business on that early morning and then returned carrying the pistol used to shoot North and the others.

Pugh faces the either life in prison or the death penalty if he is found guilty of the charges.

-- Anthony Leon Hargett, 43, of Havelock, and his cousin, Tornez Larenza Hargett, 35, of New Bern, are charged with first-degree murder in the March 22, 2015, shooting death of Walter Godette Jr. on a second-story balcony of the Havelock Inn.

It is alleged that the Hargetts went to the hotel with the intention of shooting Godette. A gun battle erupted between the men leaving Godette dead.

In a related case, Shunnell Lavon Taylor, 36, of Havelock, is charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and is also scheduled to appear on Tuesday.

Taylor is accused of hiding Anthony Hargett in the attic of her home while police were searching for him. Police also accused her of providing false information and purchasing medical supplies for Hargett, who had been shot in the wrist during the gun battle.

A third man reported to be involved in the shooting has still not been apprehended.

-- Michael Wayne Ballance II, 27, of New Bern, is charged with felony murder in connection with the death of his ex-wife, Summer Dawn Swindell, 22, of Havelock.

Swindell, mother of two small children, was reported missing from her Havelock apartment on April 28, 2015. After searching more than a month, a tip led investigators to an abandoned home in the Lake Tyler area of west New Bern. Swindell’s body was found inside.

-- Matthew Braden Ellington, 25, of Havelock, is charged with felony murder and intentional child abuse causing severe physical injury in the death of his 3-year-old adopted son. The child died Dec. 30, 2015. Ellington could face the death penalty.