Joseph Robert King Arrested Wednesday in East Spencer for the Alleged Attempted Murder and Kidnapping of Salisbury’s Johnny Leonard

Posted on December 1, 2016

RFP Staff

♦ Rowan County Sheriff’s Office sources report that Joseph Robert King, 35, a convicted felon, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at 115 W. Division Avenue in East Spencer for the alleged attempted murder, kidnapping, and robbery of Johnny Lee Leonard, 52, of Salisbury.  King was a suspect since Rowan County’s Sheriff’s Office deputies interviewed Leonard left for dead on Old Union Church Road in Spencer. King was arrested by Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputies and East Spencer Police at his camper hideout on W. Division Avenue.

King was charged with attempted murder (non specified) (felony), kidnapping (felony), robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons (felony), and failure to appear/comply (misdemeanor).

Under a secured $1,002,000 bond, King is being held in the Rowan County Detention Center. His first court appearance will be Friday December 2nd.

According to Rowan Sheriff’s Office sources Leonard gave King, an acquaintance he first met in a homeless shelter, a ride on Monday to a location near the Spencer Food Lion. Using a handgun, King allegedly shot Leonard multiple times. The suspect then allegedly loaded Leonard into the victim’s Subaru and dumped him on an isolated section of Old Union Church Road. King shot Leonard a final time and covered him with roaside trash. King then allegedly drove off with Leonard’s wallet and car.

Leonard woke up the next morning on the side of the road where King allegedly left him and staggered up Old Union Church Road where drivers noticed him and called 911. Leonard told Rowan County EMS personnel and Sheriff’s Office deputies what happened. He was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where he was treated for multiple gunshot wounds. A bullet fractured his scull, but failed to penetrate his brain. He is expected to live.

Joseph Robert King:

Victim Johnny Lee Leonard:

115 W. Division Avenue, East Spencer, N.C.:

Location of West Division Avenue in East Spencer, N.C.:

The RFP’s original article on Johnny Lee Leonard’s shooting and robbery:

Joseph Robert King’s Previous record:

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