Smithfield man accused of fatally stabbing 79-year-old in Johnston County backyard

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A 25-year-old man with gunshot wounds will be charged with murder after he fatally stabbed a 79-year-old man in the backyard of his Four Oaks home Thursday, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies responded after the older man’s wife called to report a stabbing outside the home on U.S. 70 in Four Oaks, according to a news release.

They found Keith L. Slocum, 79, dead and a man fleeing north on U.S. 301 toward Smithfield, Capt. Jeff Caldwell said in the release.

Deputies tried to stop the suspect but he refused to comply, leading to a brief chase, Caldwell said.

Smithfield police aided deputies in the chase, which ended at the suspect’s home on Wellons Street in Smithfield.

There officers took the 25-year-old driver, Isaac James Martin, into custody, the release stated. He had multiple gunshot wounds when he was arrested, and was taken to a hospital, where he is in serious condition, Caldwell said.

“Preliminary investigation shows Mr. Slocum was attempting to defend himself against Mr. Martin on his property,” the release stated.

Investigators have obtained warrants against Martin for the murder of Slocum, Caldwell said, but it was not clear what charges Martin faces.

As of now, there is no known connection between Martin and Slocum, and it isn’t clear why Martin was at Slocum’s residence.

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