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Ronnie Lee Kimble 


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April 2, 1997


Nearly 18 months after Patricia Kimble was killed, officials charge her husband and his brother with murdering her.

The husband and brother-in-law of slaying victim Patricia Kimble were charged Tuesday with killing the young woman nearly 18 months ago and setting her secluded home on fire to cover up the crime.

Brothers Ted and Ronnie Kimble face first-degree murder charges in the death of Ted Kimble's 28-year-old wife, whose burned body was found Oct. 9, 1995, in the hallway of her Pleasant Garden home. She had been shot in the head.

Both brothers are being held without bond at the Guilford County Detention Center in Greensboro. Officials at the jail feared Ted Kimble might try to kill himself Tuesday night and would not allow him visitors.
In the months after Patricia Kimble's death, suspicion swirled around Ted Kimble, who steadfastly maintained his innocence and repeatedly complained that investigators zeroed in on him as a suspect, excluding other possibilities.

Kimble said he thought his wife walked in on a robbery because some of her jewelry was missing. Saying he didn't trust local deputies to find the person who killed his wife of two years, Ted Kimble, the son of a local minister, offered $20,000 from his wife's insurance policy as a reward for information about the murder.

"It's not innocent until proven guilty, but guilty until proven innocent," Kimble said when he established the reward six weeks after his wife's death. "Shoot, I feel like the guys are trying to put me into the electric chair for something I didn't do."

Almost a year later, on the first anniversary of Patricia Kimble's death, Ted Kimble ended the reward offer, saying he had not received any insurance money because of the suspicions surrounding him.

Ted Kimble said he kept his wife's wedding portrait hanging on a wall in his home and her ashes in a green urn on the dresser beside a vase of fresh, red roses.

Investigators arrested Ted Kimble, 27, on Old Liberty Road about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday as he drove to work. Kimble owns Lyle's Building Supplies on West Lee Street. Military police arrested his brother, Ronnie Kimble, 25, at Camp Lejeune as the marine reported for work Tuesday morning, Guilford Sheriff BJ Barnes said. Ronnie Kimble worked in the chaplain's office.

As the sheriff discussed the Kimbles' arrests during an 11 a.m. news conference, Patricia Kimble's family sat nearby. Her mother, Sheila Blakley, sat with her back to reporters, sobbing.

The Blakley family declined to comment on the arrest of their former son-in-law.

Barnes said that Ted Kimble did not appear surprised when officers in five cars pulled his car over and arrested him. "I think it is something he expected," Barnes said.

The father of the two men arrested agreed. The Rev. Ronnie Kimble said he has known for 18 months that his only two children were the prime suspects in his daughter-in-law's death.

"We are a very close-knit family and we are going to stay together and see this thing through," Ronnie Kimble said. "We don't believe it because we know he (Ted) and his wife were very close." What made this case difficult and unlike any other case detectives have investigated, Barnes said, is the lack of cooperation by the Kimble family.

"He (Ted Kimble) never consented to a formal interview," Barnes said. "That's one reason it took so long. Neither he nor his family cooperated. You usually don't run into that type of thing."

The sheriff said that pieces of the puzzle that led to the arrests came together slowly, but investigators are confident about their case and expect to file more charges against the two men. The charges concern insurance money, which amounts to more than $100,000, Barnes said. No one piece of information led officers to the brothers, according to Barnes. The $16,000 in reward money from Crime Stoppers, the state of North Carolina and Patricia Kimble's family will not be collected.

"No one thing put us over the edge," Barnes said. "A bunch of little things came together over time. We put the pieces together until we had a complete puzzle."

Barnes said that Ted Kimble had two legal handguns in his car when they arrested him. Kimble's mother also was in the car with him, Barnes said. The sheriff declined to discuss specifics of the case, but said that neither of the two handguns found in Ted Kimble's car was used in the killing. He would not say if deputies found the murder weapon, believed to be a .45-caliber handgun.

By Tuesday afternoon, Patricia Kimble's friends and neighbors had heard about the arrests. "I just pray that her family can go on now," said Pleasant Garden resident Mary Ann McNabb. "I just pray that it's over."
McNabb, co-owner of Southeast Supermarket, said she never feared for her safety following the Kimble murder. "It never bothered me," she said. "I always thought that it was something planned for Pat, and not a threat to the rest of the community."

Jan Bottomley works at Cinnamon Ridge Apartments, where Patricia Kimble worked as a manager. "I'm just kind of numb," she said. "I guess I'm glad because I know it's a big step for the family and everything. Pat was very sweet. She definitely had the gift of giving. She was always doing things for other people."

Five months after their daughter died, Richard and Sheila Blakley offered a $10,000 reward for information in the case. "I think about her (Patricia) every hour," Sheila Blakley said at the time. "You don't want to suspect anyone she knows, but you don't know what to think. Your mind plays tricks on you. We hope and pray it was no one she knew."

- Staff writers Danielle Deaver and Rich McKay contributed to this report.
COPYRIGHT 1997 News & Record


Published August 15, 2006.  Report broken links or other problems.

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