Police arrest suspect for shooting death of Jonathan O’Neal

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ONSLOW CO., NC – On November 2, 2021 just after 6:00 p.m., Onslow County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Onslow Memorial Hospital for a report of a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim, Jonathan O’Neal had been transported to the hospital in a car and dropped off at the emergency room. O’Neal passed away later that night from the gunshot wound.

The investigation revealed that O’Neal and Aron Burdell Watkins had been in an altercation at a residence on Blue Creek Road earlier that evening which escalated, resulting in Watkins shooting O’Neal. Watkins and a female subject then drove the victim to the hospital where they dropped him off and left the area.

Watkins, 48-years-old of Blue Creek Road was arrested November 22, 2021 without incident, taken before an Onslow County Magistrate and was charged with (1) Count of Murder, (1) Count Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and (1) Count Possession of Firearm by Felon. He was transported to Onslow County Detention Center under a $5,000 secured bond for the Possession of Firearm charge and is under no bond for the murder. His first court appearance is November 23, 2021.

Additionally, Watkins was arrested November 23, 2021 for Larceny

From the Person and Assault on a Female. These charges stem from an assault which occurred November 18, 2021 where Watkins assaulted a female and took a cell phone from her possession. He was given no bond due to the charges being domestic-related. His first court appearance for these charges is November 24, 2021.

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