Second Arrest Made in Star Convenience Store Robbery

CONTACT:  Angie Grube
Public Information Director, SBI
July 12, 2022
Second Arrest Made in Star Convenience Store Robbery
Raleigh, NC - On Saturday, June 25, 2022, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) received a request for full assistance from Chief D. Kime of the Star Police Department in reference to a homicide investigation. At approximately 10:08 p.m., on Saturday, June 25, 2022, an unknown male entered the Quik Chek convenience store located at 231 South Main Street, Star, NC 27356. The unknown male pulled out a handgun and jumped behind the counter with the store employee, Laura Lynn Whitman. Whitman opened the cash register, and the unknown male began going through it. The unknown male turned towards Whitman and fired multiple rounds with the handgun. The unknown male returned to taking money from the cash register before walking out of the store. Whitman was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Through investigative leads, the unknown male was identified as a 17-year-old juvenile from Darlington, SC. He was taken into custody by officers form the Darlington Police Department on July 11, 2022. He was wanted there for attempted murder from an incident that occurred on June 5, 2022. He will eventually be transferred to Montgomery County in NC where he will be charged with the first degree murder of Whitman and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
A co-defendant was also charged. On July 9, 2022, James William Ward, Jr., 57, was arrested for robbery with a dangerous weapon and first degree murder. On that date, officers with the Winston-Salem Police Department responded to a suspicious vehicle call and Ward was taken into custody. Through investigative leads, Ward was identified as the driver during the robbery and homicide. No additional information is available at this time.