Elderly Woman Murdered, Possibly Assaulted in South Boston

Home on North Main Street where Charlotte Rice was found murdered

(7:00 p.m. Friday) South Boston, VA - A South Boston sex offender is locked up, charged with killing an 84-year-old woman.

Police say James Terry broke into Charlotte Rice's North Main Street home on Thursday night and beat her to death.

Neighbors tell ABC 13, they believe he did much more than kill her.

It happened around 8:45 Thursday night, when a neighbor says Rice wouldn't answer her phone.

"He actually came over to check on her and that's what started everything, the ball to rolling," said Capt. Brian Lovelace of the South Boston Police Department.

The neighbor claims he James L. Terry running from the house, so he called police.

"We don't know what his motives were for breaking into the house or going into the house," said Capt. Lovelace.

Police caught Terry two blocks away.

When they entered the house, they found Rice lying dead on the floor. Neighbors say she had severe injuries to her head and she was stripped from the waste down.

Now, police are investigating if she was sexually assaulted.

"At this time we're not able to comment on that. We haven't ruled it out," said Capt. Lovelace.

"She was a tough lady, I tell you that," said Bolie Osborne, Uncle of Charlotte Rice.

Family members say the news has been hard to handle.

"It's so bad on her sister, her sister is taking it pretty rough this morning," said Osborne.

He says family had hoped to get Rice to leave this big home where she lived all alone.

"She has tried to get Charlotte to come to Washington but Charlotte was going to stay right here, she wasn't going to leave this place," said Osborne.

Neighbors say Rice often told them her biggest fear was being attacked in her own home. Sometimes, she'd have a neighbor come over and search her closets to make sure nobody was hiding inside.

James Terry is set to appear in court on June 13.


(11:30 a.m. Friday) South Boston, VA - Authorities have released new information about the murder of an elderly woman in South Boston.

Police have charged 39-year-old James Terry with the murder of 84-year-old Charlotte Rice.

South Boston Police responded to 2513 North Main Street about 9:00 p.m. Thursday to a report of a possible breaking and entering in progress.

The person who called 911 saw a man leaving the home and walking between the houses.

Officers caught up with him after a short foot chase.

James Terry is charged with murder right now, but South Boston police say more charges are pending.


(6:15 a.m. Friday) South Boston, VA- The Halifax County Sheriff's Office is investigating a possible homicide.

Just before 9:00 p.m. Thursday night, officers were called to a home on North Main Street in South Boston where they found an elderly woman dead.

A neighbor told investigators she saw a man running from the house.

Police do have a someone in custody, but no charges have been filed.