Mother: Woman described horrific killing
A woman who was with Earl Franklin Moore Jr. the night that investigators say he killed Raoul Dula told her mother a frightening tale of that night's events.
Rita Townsend said that her daughter, Jenny Lynn Childress, who has been in jail since Friday on charges in the theft of a New England Arms .22-caliber rifle from Moore's father, told her during a phone call from the jail that Moore forced her to drive to Flintstone Court, where Moore met Dula.
“She told me he (Moore) put a knife to her throat and made her drive him to that place. I’m not familiar with that area,” Townsend said.
Childress stayed in the car while Moore got out, Townsend said.
“She said he was on something, he looked crazy," Townsend said. "All she could hear is that boy (Dula) screaming, hollering, begging for his life, begging for him to please stop. She said she couldn’t bear to look and see what was happening. She told me no one in the trailer park turned a light on or even came out.”
Townsend said her daughter told her that when Moore was done, he took Dula’s pants off him -- Dula's body was found wearing boxer shorts, but no pants -- wrapped something up inside them and forced her daughter to drive him to the Old Millpond in Granite Falls.
“She said he got out of the car and threw something over the bridge,” Townsend said. “She heard something hard clank off the bridge railing as it fell. Then he threatened her, that if she said anything he would kill her.”
Townsend said the two had gone out about 11 p.m. Wednesday. Townsend awoke about 4:30 a.m., and Moore and Childress returned to Townsend's home on Roby Martin Road about 5 a.m. Moore knocked on the door when they arrived, and when Townsend opened the door, she saw Moore struggling to put his belt on.
Townsend said her daughter took investigators to the pond. But not until after she was sure Moore was behind bars.
“She was scared for her life,” Townsend said. “She was too afraid to say anything. She is a mess right now.”
Townsend said Childress went to school with Moore. They would share drugs, and he got Childress hooked on pain pills, Townsend said, but she has been clean recently.
“He would tell her he was in love with her, and she would say, 'No, we’re only friends, nothing more,'” Townsend said. “He would get the drugs for her.”
Townsend hates how families have been destroyed by the horrific crime that took place last week.
“I hate it happened the way it did,” she said. “She needs to get her kids (who are in foster care) back. I feel sorry for the Dula family. If there was anything I could do to change things, I would. I know they are going through a whole lot right now.
“I love Earl. I know everybody makes mistakes. I just hope Earl stands up to be a man and does what he has to do.”
Folks living on Flintstone Court say they heard nothing unusual between midnight and 6 a.m. Thursday, when Dula’s body was found in the yard of Thomas Ferguson Jr. Ronald Hamby, who lives across the street, said his dogs began barking about 1 a.m., so he let them out to go to the bathroom. Even Ferguson, who knew Dula, said he heard nothing.
“I was having a seizure and don’t remember much at all,” he said. “When my neighbor (Sandra Minton, his ex-wife) told me there was a body in my yard, I came outside and saw it. I reached down and touched it, but I couldn’t look at it for any length of time. It was covered in blood; it was cut up pretty bad.”
Ferguson learned from news accounts the next day that it was Dula. He said he was relieved an arrest was made in the case.
“I’m glad they found who did it,” Ferguson said. “Why they wanted to hack him up is beyond reason to me.”
Ferguson said he first met Dula at the Social Security office.
“We were both on disability,” Ferguson said. “He would come over from time to time, we would hang out, drink beer and talk about this and that.
“I hadn’t seen him for about eight months, though.”
Another neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified, said some of the homeowners had been trying for years to clean up the neighborhood because of drug traffic and arrests.
“Having this body out here was the last straw,” she said. “We have children and grandchildren. We don’t allow them to play outside anymore. I’ve got another neighbor who's had his house for sale drop the asking price $20,000 two days after this happened. Who’s going to move into here now?”
She asked the sheriff’s office to establish a Neighborhood Watch program, and is hoping to see street lights installed.