Man accused of beating uncle to death with brick worked as subst - | WBTV Charlotte

Man accused of beating uncle to death with brick worked as substitute teacher

(Source: Brody O'Connell | WBTV) (Source: Brody O'Connell | WBTV)
Orlando Neal, 55, was charged with murder and malicious use of explosives Orlando Neal, 55, was charged with murder and malicious use of explosives
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The man accused of beating his uncle to death with a brick before dousing him in gas worked as a substitute teacher, according to a Gaston County school spokesperson.

Orlando Neal, 55, was charged with murder and malicious use of explosives on Thursday.

School officials say Neal worked as a non-certified substitute teacher since August of 2007. He was no longer listed in the school's system after his arrest. Officials did not say which schools or grades Neal substituted for.

The incident happened on the 4700 block of Dawnalia Drive near West Boulevard just before 9:30 a.m. Police identified as the victim as 77-year old Charles Lee Neal.

Neighbor Bruce Erwin told WBTV he was driving on his street when he saw two men running across his lawn.

One of the men was the victim's nephew. The other was the victim's friend.

Erwin said the friend was yelling.

"Call 911. Call 911. The man just hurt Mr. Neal," Erwin said.

Erwin told WBTV he called 911, and held both men until police arrived. He said the victim's nephew  - Orlando Neal -wouldn't stay still.

"He acted like he was kind of off a little, like he was a chicken, jumping around like he knew karate and everything," Erwin said. "And I just grabbed him and threw him on the ground."

Erwin said the victim's friend stopped at the elderly man's house to check on him.

"He said he goes every day to check on Mr. Neal to make sure he take his medicine like he supposed to and everything. And when he walked down there he was asking the guy 'Where is Mr. Neal at?' And he heard some kind of noise or something and he looked around and saw Mr. Neal laying down on the ground on the pavement."

Erwin said the 77-year-old victim, "Didn't bother anybody. He didn't mess with nobody. He speaks, go about his business and come back in."

He's wondering what led to the killing. Investigators have not released a motive.

Some neighbors told WBTV the nephew suffered from a mental illness.

Erwin said he doesn't know much about the nephew, who apparently kept to himself. And he didn't know Orlando Neal was a teacher.

"Is he just now getting on that medication?" Erwin asked. "Is he just now getting ill? How can you be a teacher and you taking medicine and you're mentally ill?"

A spokesperson for Gaston County schools said he didn't know if there were any complaints lodged against Orlando Neal when he taught in the district.

On Friday, Orlando Neal appeared before a judge, who appointed a public defender for him.

He is being held on $500,000 bond for murder, and $50,000 bond for malicious use of explosives.

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