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May 7, 2021

Woman charged with murder in stabbing

Staff report
A 51-year-old Salisbury woman has been charged with murder in the Tuesday stabbing death of her companion.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Elizabeth Fesperman Whitley late Tuesday with the death of Willie Glen Woodard III.
Woodard was one of the people who often stand on Arlington Street near Walmart with a sign asking for donations, according to Salisbury Police.
Whitley and Woodard lived in a mobile home at 13 Highland Park Drive, off Hurley School Road.
Rowan Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford said the stabbing appeared to be domestic in nature and alcohol was involved.
Whitley is being held in the Rowan County Detention Center with no bond.
District Attorney Bill Kenerly will decide later whether the charge will be first-degree murder or a lesser charge.
Deputies responded to a 911 call at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday about a stabbing at 13 Highland Park Drive.
Sifford said Rowan County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene to find the door of the trailer standing open. Inside, they found Whitley, who was visibly upset and talking on a cell phone.
Deputies and Rowan EMS paramedics found Woodard lying on a mattress on the living room floor. He appeared to have a wound in his chest. A knife was located nearby on the floor.
He was transported to Rowan Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead at 3:08 a.m.
Salisbury Police had contact with the couple approximately two weeks ago.
Sgt. R.A. Efird said he observed Woodard coming from a business with something under his shirt.
When stopped, he had a pasteboard sign with some writing asking for money or food.
Efird said Woodard and Whitley were in an Isuzu Rodeo. They told police they were living in the vehicle.
Efird said the vehicle looked lived-in and that a large knife lay inside it.

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