Killing Suspect Named

Published 4:49 pm Thursday, March 15, 1990

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In a meeting at Manteo’s town hall late Tuesday afternoon, Manteo and Dare County officials and State Bureau of Investigation District Supervisor Bill Godley announced that Clifton Eugene Spencer, 31, of Columbia, was charged with first-degree murder Monday in connection with the Feb. 3 killing of Manteo waitress Elizabeth Stacey Stanton.

A suspect from the early stages of the investigation, Spencer was arrested by Tyrrell County deputies on a warrant from New Jersey alleging cocaine possession after Dare County authorities notified that state of Spencer’s whereabouts.

Spencer was questioned by Dare County investigators Feb. 5 and was held in Tyrrell County until he voluntarily returned to New Jersey March 2 to face charges there. Godley said he expects Spencer to fight being returned to Dare County after the New Jersey charges are disposed of this week. The extradition process could take a month if Spencer fights being brought back, according to Dare County Sheriff Bert Austin. He also said Spencer would be held in the state prison in Raleigh for safekeeping when he is returned to this state.

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Godley said there was reason to believe the victim was acquainted with Spencer. Part of the case rests on physical evidence, he said, and a drug connection has been suggested.

The suspect has been given a polygraph test along with several other persons who might be witnesses, Godley said, and the suspect chose not to be represented by an attorney when he was questioned in Columbia.

“The meat and potatoes people are not here,” Godley said, referring to the fact that the principal investigators who were in the case from the first were not present. Lt. Col. Jasper Williams of the Dare County Sheriff’s Office was on vacation and will return to the investigation as soon as he is back, and former Manteo Police Chief Stephen Day resigned his position after a dispute with Manteo Mayor Luther Daniels and is no longer with the town force.

Godley said the investigation is far from over, that investigators still have work to do and the court process is still ahead.

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