One man beaten to death; three men face charges

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Baseball bats used in the fight between neighbors

By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer



LELAND—A man is dead after a New Year’s Day fight broke out between neighbors.

The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for a fight in progress with baseball bats at 6524 Farm Meadows Road, Leland, at 10:38 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1.

“Deputies were dispatched, and upon arrival they found Hartford Talmage Sellers III, unresponsive and lying in the driveway at 6524 Farm Meadow Road,” said Sgt. Del Routh, BCSO spokesman.

Sellers and another man, Boyd Franklin Harrelson Jr., 43, were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Sellers, 26, of 6524 Farm Meadows Road, was reported dead to the BCSO a little after 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4.  He died at the New Hanover County Regional Medical Center.

Harrelson was treated and released.

The BCSO arrested Harrelson on Thursday, Jan. 3. Harrelson, of 6543 Farm Meadows Drive, Leland, was originally charged with assault with a deadly weapon with serious injury and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. On Monday, Jan. 7, Harrelson was also charged with second-degree murder.

At press time he was in custody at the Brunswick County Detention Center under a $180,000 secured bond. No bond had been set on the second-degree murder charge. 

Nickolas Wayne Smith, 21, also of 6543 Farm Meadows Drive, Leland, was arrested on Jan. 3 and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. He was placed under a $5,000 bond.

A third suspect was taken into custody last Friday.

“On Jan. 4, 2013, the Brunswick County Sheriff’s detectives arrested William Joseph Connolly for an assault on Hartford Talmage Sellers III, which occurred Jan. 1, 2013,” Routh said.

Connolly, 52, of 6579 Farm Meadows Drive, Leland was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and failure to appear on a misdemeanor.

Connolly was booked into the Brunswick County Detention Center under a $5,000 bond.

On Monday BCSO detectives met with the Brunswick County District Attorney to discuss additional charges relating to the death of Sellers. The meeting resulted in the additional charge of second-degree murder.

“The investigation is still on-going,” Routh said.

If anyone has information about this case they are asked to contact Lt. Donna Simpson at 880-4952 or 253-2777.



Rachel Johnson is a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or rjohnson@brunswickbeacon.com.