Second man charged with murder in Rowan County homicide investigation

Man charged with murder in deadly Rowan Co. shooting

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Detectives with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from SBI agents, have arrested a second man in connection with a homicide that occurred off of Apple Rd. on the morning of January 27.

James Christopher Rife, 36, is charged with murder and attempted robbery in the death of Lakyn Bailey, 25, who was found in a vehicle with a fatal gunshot wound off of Statesville Blvd. Officials say Rife was already in jail on unrelated charges after being located earlier when he was named a person of interest in the case.

Two days before Rife’s arrest, detectives arrested Joshua Wade Kennedy, 35, a registered sex offender in West Virginia who has been living in Iredell Co. and Rowan Co. recently. Kennedy was placed under arrest Wednesday afternoon by detectives and also charged with murder and attempted robbery.

James Christopher Rife (left) and Joshua Wade Kennedy (right) are both charged with murder in the death of Lakyn Bailey. (Rowan County Sheriff's Office)
James Christopher Rife (left) and Joshua Wade Kennedy (right) are both charged with murder in the death of Lakyn Bailey. (Rowan County Sheriff's Office)

This remains an active investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact authorities at (704) 216-8687. or Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.

Tips may be submitted online: http://tips.salisburyrowancrimestoppers.org/

Kennedy was convicted in Iredell County in 2012 of taking indecent liberties with a minor. According to official records, Kennedy lived for a time in Bradshaw, West Virginia.

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