Two people charged with murder after death of a 69-year-old Winston-Salem man who was gagged with sock

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Two people were charged with murder Friday after a 69-year-old Winston-Salem man died in his apartment in late December, the Forsyth County Jail magistrate says.

Lessie Denise Graves, 41, and Nathan Carlos Gilmore, 29, were charged with felony murder in relation to the death of James Herbert McCormick.

Gilmore is also charged with kidnapping and Graves is also facing first-degree kidnapping and common law robbery charges related to McCormick’s death.

At 8:51 p.m. on Dec. 30, Winston-Salem police were called to 3954 Sugarcreek Drive at Sugar Creek Apartments to check the welfare of McCormick.

A friend of McCormick said he had not heard from him for several days and notified police.

Upon arrival, police found McCormick dead in his apartment.

Police found McCormick’s body on the floor of a bedroom covered with a sheet, the autopsy report said, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

McCormick had one sock in his mouth, compressing his tongue against the roof of his mouth and blocking his airway, the report said.

The sock restricted airflow, causing asphyxia and his death.

Graves and Gilmore are currently in the Forsyth County Jail.

Now that they have been charged with murder, the two are being held without any bond allowed, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.

They likely will have their first appearance in Forsyth District Court on Monday, where they will be told about the murder charges and asked whether they want to hire a lawyer, represent themselves or have a court-appointed lawyer.

They will next be in court on Aug. 15.

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