Wilson County Sheriff: Man man used axe to kill wife, dad


WILSON, Wilson County - Law enforcement officials have arrested a Wilson County man accused of using an axe to kill his wife and father.

On Friday, the Wilson County Sheriff's Office responded to the 4100 block of Evansdale Road for a welfare check. The caller told deputies 63-year-old Dennis Joyner had not shown up to work, which was unusual.

CLICK HERE to read and see more from WTVD Deputies knocked on the door several times, but received no response. When deputies looked through the windows of the home, they spotted a toddler locked inside a bedroom. Deputies forced their way into the home to check on the child, and found the toddler's mother, 36-year-old Michelle Joyner, dead on the floor. Dennis Joyner, the toddler's grandfather, was also found dead inside the home. Deputies said the murders appeared to have happened sometime Friday morning.

"This incident appears to be domestic in nature with an axe being the choice of weapon use to facilitate this crime," Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard said in a statement. The Wilson County Sheriff's Office issued an arrest warrant for 38-year-old Michael Allen Joyner - the son of Dennis Joyner and husband of Michelle Joyner. The toddler was not injured, and placed in the custody of the Department of Social Services. Authorities said Michael is the father of the child.

Officials said they believed Michael Joyner may have boarded a flight to Los Angeles, California after his vehicle was found at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. He was later arrested at a home in San Pedro, California. Joyner is currently being held at the Los Angeles County Jail and awaiting extradition. "We were able to locate his vehicle as well as gather intelligence as to his whereabouts in California," Woodard said. "We are now awaiting the extradition results so that this suspect can be brought back to Wilson County to face these charges."