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Chatham man accused in Franklin County shootings is indicted on 7 felony counts
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Chatham man accused in Franklin County shootings is indicted on 7 felony counts

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New charges were brought this week against a Chatham man accused last summer in a Franklin County shooting incident that injured a woman and left another person dead.

Forrest Christopher Fielder was indicted Monday in Franklin County on seven felony counts, including first-degree murder, abduction, malicious wounding, burglary and three related gun offenses.

Fielder, 59, has been jailed since last summer and was previously charged only with second-degree murder and with using a firearm to commit that crime.

A news release last year from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called around midnight Sept. 5 to a report of a shooting victim on Burton Lake Road. A critically injured woman, 58, was found and was hospitalized.

Deputies also responded to the woman’s residence, in the Snow Creek area of Franklin County and discovered Ricky Lee Southern, 54, of Reidsville, North Carolina, dead from a gunshot wound, the release said. Snow Creek is about 15 to 20 miles west of Burton Lake Road.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Sgt. Megan Patterson said last year that Fielder was also found at the Snow Creek home. He was arrested and charged, and a search warrant later indicated he had called 911 to report a shooting.

That warrant sought his fingerprints and DNA, but neither it nor investigators have provided information about the circumstances that might have led to the shooting.

It also remains unclear how Fielder, Southern and the female victim are linked or acquainted.

Rocky Mount attorney Carolyn Furrow is representing Fielder, but on Tuesday she said she was not yet able to discuss any details of his case. Furrow said she expects Fielder’s next court date could be set sometime this week.

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