Arrest made in Halifax County quadruple murder, sheriff says

ENFILED, N.C. (WNCN) – A 25-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the murder of four people in Halifax County in August, the county sheriff confirms.

Matthew Simms, 25, of Enfield faces four counts of first-degree murder, Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp said. Simms is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Investigators have said two married couples had been sitting around a kitchen table playing cards when they were killed sometime between Aug. 20 and 21.

James Harris was killed along with his wife and two others.

Simms was taken into custody in early September after failing to appear in court in June on a murder charge, Tripp said.

Simms was charged in the June 22 death of Jarhamel J. Cambridge, of Enfield. He also faced a felony probation violation charge after originally being charged with possession of a firearm by convicted felon.

Tripp said his office has been receiving help from the SBI, FBI, ATF and the Enfield Police Department.

Tripp said evidence, including forensic evidence, has been collected that led investigators to believe the murder was “gang related.”

ATF records show Harris ran a gunsmithing business out of his home.

According to an ATF database, J and J Gunsmithing was a federally licensed firearm business as of July 2017. The gunsmithing business was registered to Harris at the same address where the killings occurred.

The other victims were identified as Janice Harris, 72, James Whitley, 76, and Peggy Whitley, 67.

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