Cleveland man faces murder charges in the shooting of Lakyn Bailey

Published 4:01 pm Friday, February 1, 2019

SALISBURY — Investigators have charged a second person in the murder of 25-year-old Lakyn Jade Bailey.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Office detectives on Friday charged James Christopher Rife, of 3915 Third Creek Church Road, Cleveland.

Rife, who was already in jail in an unrelated matter, faces charges of murder and attempted robbery. He was located earlier in the investigation and identified as a person of interest.

Rowan detectives and agents of the State Bureau of Investigation continued to look into the case and had remained in contact with the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office since the early Jan. 27 murder on Apple Road, near Burmac Circle.

Rife remains in the Rowan County Detention Center without bond.

Earlier this week, Rowan authorities charged Joshua Wade Kennedy, 35, with murder and attempted robbery in the case. He also remains in jail without bond.

Kennedy had been living in Iredell County but is registered as a sex offender in West Virginia.

Salisbury police were called to the Country Cupboard convenience store early Jan. 27 on a report that someone had been shot. They found Bailey dead inside a vehicle being driven by Jason Donald Cranfill, 41, and determined that she had been shot elsewhere and her body driven to the store.

Cranfill was later charged with felony possession of methamphetamine.

Detectives said Bailey had been involved in illegal drug sales at a motel in Statesville. Investigators said the shooting was the result of a drug deal that turned violent.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigative Division was assisted by the SBI, Salisbury Police Department, Statesville Police Department, Kannapolis Police Department, and Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation of the attempted robbery and murder continues.