Suspect in fatal shooting of Pennsylvania trucker arraigned on murder charge

By Land Line staff | Tuesday, February 07, 2017

A North Carolina man who eluded authorities for more than 18 months following the shooting death of a Pennsylvania trucker appeared before a judge this month on homicide and related charges.

Rodney Shelton, 38, of Elizabeth City, N.C., also faces charges of murder in the first, second and third degrees, robbery, possessing an instrument of crime, and firearms offenses, according to a report in the Delaware County Daily Times. Shelton pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Feb. 2 in the Delaware County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas.

Shelton is accused of shooting and killing truck driver Thomas Childs, 63, of Aston Pa., in a robbery attempt outside of Childs’ employer, Ridgway Industries. Childs was found shot at 3:44 a.m. on June 9, 2015, and was pronounced dead at the scene by authorities. Childs was preparing to leave early that morning to make a delivery in New York. He was gunned down either as he was getting into the cab or just outside of it, the report stated.

Police were able to ping Childs’ missing cellphone, which led them to a nearby cemetery, where they recovered the phone and about $30 worth of paper money. Authorities believe the suspect “got scared” and scaled the fence into the cemetery before dropping both the phone and money, according to the Daily Times.

Shelton was on the run for more than a year before the U.S. Marshals Service apprehended him in Georgia last December. A pretrial conference is scheduled for March 6. Shelton is being held without bail in the Delaware County jail.

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