Ray Gora / Lincoln Times-News
A Lincoln County murder suspect stood before a judge Tuesday in district court for the man’s first appearance since allegedly shooting his wife to death over the weekend.
Terry Lee White, 54, of 1243 Rose Hill Drive in Lincolnton, has been charged with first-degree murder in the incident.
Deputies said he used a shotgun Saturday to kill his wife, Ruby Elizabeth White, 39, at their home.
During the hearing, a judge appointed Todd Pomeroy of The Jonas Law Firm, PLLC, in Lincolnton, as the suspect’s criminal defense attorney, the Clerk of Court’s Office said.
Terry Lee White contacted the Communications Center around 12:30 p.m. Saturday and confessed to shooting the woman, the Sheriff’s Office said. He also threatened to take his own life.
Deputies said they immediately rushed to the crime scene, where they found the man still armed.
Officers used a taser to bring the suspect into compliance after he released the firearm.
While various news media outlets have reported that earlier in the day the woman told her husband she was leaving him, the Sheriff’s Office could not confirm that detail. Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Johnson, head of Criminal Investigations, did say the victim had talked about leaving but wasn’t sure whether she meant leaving the house or marriage.
Johnson also said deputies had been called to the house in the past but didn’t believe the incidents pertained to domestic violence.
Terry Lee White remains in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center without bond and is scheduled to appear again in court on June 13.
According to the North Carolina Department of Correction website, his criminal record revealed a drug-related felony in the county dating back to 1979.