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Rowan officials: Man left for dead was shot at least once in the head

Suspect

Robert King

Robert King

By Shavonne Walker
shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

EAST SPENCER — A 52-year-old man who was shot multiple times and left for dead was shot at least once in the head, Rowan authorities said, but is expected to survive. An acquaintance who is accused of the crime remains behind bars.

Rowan County investigators said Johnny Lee Leonard gave the accused, Joseph Robert King, 35, a ride to East Spencer. King shot Leonard multiple times Monday night, drove the man to an isolated section of Old Union Church Road, robbed him and stole his car.

Officials say before leaving, King shot Leonard again and covered him with trash. One of those bullets struck Leonard in the head, which fractured his skull, but failed to penetrate, officials said.

He remains in the hospital, detectives said.

Leonard awoke Tuesday morning, was found by a motorist bloody and walking along Old Union Church Road.

When the motorist came upon him, authorities say Leonard wasn’t wearing pants.

Investigators said both of his arms were injured during the assault and his pants came off while trying to get from underneath the trash. Leonard was able to provide investigators with enough details, which eventually led them to King.

The two met at the homeless shelter, investigators said.

King was charged with felony attempted murder, felony robbery and felony kidnapping. He remains in the Rowan County jail under a $1 million bond.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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