Friend mourns death of Salisbury man murdered in Wilmington

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Former Salisbury resident William Elliott Sr. was just about to get his own place after landing a landscaping job in Wilmington. His life was cut short when he was murdered over a week ago inside a mobile home.

Elliott, 37, had drank the night before and asked acquaintances Adam Allen Morton, 23, and girlfriend, Jamie Dee Cooper, 34, if he could sleep on their couch.

Morton tried to rob Elliott of money while the man was asleep. Elliott woke up, tried to fight him off and was stabbed multiple times. He was left at the mobile home while the couple checked into a hotel.

Elliott leaves behind five children — William Elliott Jr., 20, Dylan Elliott, 18, Emily Rose Elliott, 10, Justin Pence, 7, and Gavin Elliott, 6. Emily Rose and her mother, Teasha Wall, were seriously injured in a traffic collision in 2012. Emily underwent several surgeries and her school, Bostian Elementary, created a rose garden there in her honor.

Jeremiah Wallace, Elliott’s friend since 13, said the family is obviously taking it hard, including Elliott’s parents, Geraldine and Henry Elliott.

“His mom and dad are devastated. Not only by the loss of their son, but the way it happened. It’s been a horrible nightmare for all of us,” Wallace said.

He found out about the murder hours after his friend’s body was found.

Wallace was told that Elliott was not only stabbed, but Morton allegedly slashed his throat.

“He (Morton) looked at him and said ‘well, I guess I have to finish him off,’ ” Wallace said.

Police didn’t discover Elliott’s body at the mobile home until after Morton and Cooper were involved in a domestic altercation at the hotel. She called police to tell them Morton strangled her. A 911 call was made reportedly by her brother informing police of Elliott’s body.

“William was left in the trailer for 20 hours,” Wallace said.

He said he believes his friend met the couple through Elliott’s niece. When he first moved to Wilmington, he lived with his niece until he was able to find a place. He was going to use the money to get the place, Wallace said.

Morton remains in a New Hanover County jail under no bond and Cooper remains in jail under a $250,000 bond.

“He was a happy person. He always liked to make people laugh. He was really talented at drawing, music,” Wallace said.

Wallace is paying for the cost of his longtime friend’s funeral. A Go Fund Me page was created to help with the expenses because Elliott did not have insurance and his parents, who are retirees, are on fixed incomes. The fundraising page takes three weeks to receive donations and the family just didn’t have that kind of time. So Wallace offered to pay for everything.

The funeral and burial will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday at Rowan Memorial Park, located at U.S. 601 and White Farm Road.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.