Man with violent past charged in Rockingham car lot stabbing

By William R. Toler -


ROCKINGHAM — A man was airlifted with several lacerations following a confrontation at his place of employment.

According to the Rockingham Police Department, Ronald Lee Bright went to Griffin Nissan Thursday to confront Ernest Johnson over an issue he had with him.

Police said Thursday afternoon that the cause of the dispute was unclear at the time.

The confrontation escalated and Bright, 39, cut Johnson several times on the head and body, officers said.

The alleged weapon had not been recovered early Thursday evening and police were not sure what type it was.

Bright turned himself in, was arrested and charged with a felony count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. He was booked into the Richmond County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 22.

Johnson was airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for treatment of his injuries and police said he was in stable condition.

Online records show Bright has no other scheduled court appearances for pending charges.

Records with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction show this is not Bright’s first time being charged with assaulting another person.

He spent 11 months behind bars following a 2007 conviction on one felony count each of assault inflicting serious bodily injury and felonious restraint. Records show the incident happened in January of that year and he was convicted in October.

Six days after that assault was committed, Bright began a one-month sentence when his probation was revoked on a 2006 conviction on misdemeanor charges of communicating threats and simple assault or affray. Those charges stemmed from separate incidents in 2005.

In May of 2002, he was given probation after being convicted for an assault on a female charge from March of that year and a simple assault charge from the previous year. Both of those were misdemeanor convictions.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.


By William R. Toler

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