Shooting victim charged in Maner Road murder

By: Staff Report

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office arrested Christopher Maurice Easterling, 25, Friday morning for the murder of Sylvester Lee Wilburn, 28, that occurred at 148 Maner Road in Rockingham on April 18, according to a press release.

The night of the shooting, deputies found Easterling in the front yard of the residence suffering from an apparent gun shot wound but conscious. He was airlifted to a hospital where he recovered, according to a press release. Wilburn, of Rockingham, was found inside the home and was also airlifted to a hospital, but later died.

A third victim, 23-year-old Erica Denise Kendall of Rockingham, had been shot in the lower leg. Kendall and Wilburn were in a relationship, according to a Facebook post by Kendall following the shooting in which she described the series of events and expressed grief over Wilburn’s death.

“We constantly chilled literally almost every day, we built each other up even when it was hard for us to do so,” Kendall wrote. “We made promises that (I) will (never) forget and his life (was) taken for what?”

Easterling, of McColl, South Carolina, is charged with felony counts each of murder, attempted murder, first degree kidnapping and first degree burglary. He is additionally charged with misdemeanor counts of assault by pointing a gun, communicating threats, assault on a female and interfering in emergency communication.

He was not given a bond and will remain in the Richmond County Jail until his court date on May 7.

Easterling has no prior convictions in North Carolina, according to state records.

Staff Report