18-year-old charged with murder of former Onslow Co. deputy appears in court

Will Welch Jr.

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The 18-year-old charged with murder in the shooting death of a former Onslow County deputy made his first appearance in court Monday.

Will Welch Jr, 18, of Jacksonville was charged with murdering William Clifton, 48, of Jacksonville.

When the judge asked if Welch would hire an attorney, Welch said he would talk to his mom, who nodded yes when the judge asked her if an attorney would be hired.

Welch’s next court date is scheduled for August 7. He was denied bond.

After Welch appeared in court, friends and family of William Clifton attended his funeral at New Life Ministries Church in Jacksonville.


—————–ORIGINAL STORY——————

The Jacksonville Police Department has charged a man with murder in the shooting death of a former Onslow County deputy at Woodlands Park.

Will Welch Jr., 18, of Jacksonville, has been charged with an open count of murder.

The body of William Clifton, 48, of Richlands, was found at 6:30 AM on Friday, July 7, in Woodlands Park.

William Clifton

“This continues to be an open and active investigation” said Captain Weaver. “We anticipate additional arrests pending further investigation.”

The reward for information in the case could total up to $5,000.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact JPD Detective Daniel Karratti at 910-938-6410 or dkarratti@jacksonvillenc.gov or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273.

Clifton was under an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation at the time of his shooting.

The SBI investigation, which is ongoing, started on May 5 after the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office reached out to SBI due to allegations against William Clifton regarding indecent liberties with a 12-year-old girl.

The SBI said the alleged incident occurred in 2015, and Clifton left the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office in 2016. The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office was not investigating the allegations in lieu of the SBI’s investigation.


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