James Butler.JPG

James Cole Butler

A 22-year-old Rocky Mount man, already with a driving while impaired case pending against him, is behind bars for allegedly killing a woman whose body was found Wednesday morning along Greyson Road.

James Cole Butler is charged with the first-degree murder of Angela Bunn Nelms, 49, and he is being held without bond at the Nash County Detention Center, police Cpl. Clay Wilder said on Thursday.

Officers at about 9 a.m. on Wednesday responded to the 900 block of Greyson, on the far northwest side of Rocky Mount, in reference to a call about a suspicious event and saw Nelms’ body lying on the shoulder of the road. Nelms was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wilder did not release any additional information about the homicide.

Court records at the judicial center off Cokey Road, however, show Butler, of the 100 block of Windchime Court, is facing a DWI charge and half a dozen other charges.

Those charges are in connection with Butler being arrested in the early morning hours of Sept. 10 after police halted him while he was driving a car on Battle Park Road near Falls and Bevenue roads.

The records said Butler, at the scene of the traffic stop, stumbled out of the car, had pinpoint pupils, his speech was slurred and he could not stand up without losing his balance.

The records said multiple bottles of alcohol were found in the car and that Butler admitted he had been drinking.

The records said police ran a test on Butler to determine a blood alcohol concentration level. The test did not produce a reading, but police drew a blood sample from Butler for testing at a laboratory.

In addition to the DWI charge, Butler is charged with driving while his license was revoked, possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage, driving with an expired registration card or tag, driving with a fictitious registration card or tag and operating a vehicle without insurance.

Butler also is charged with misdemeanor possession of illegal drug paraphernalia.

Past statewide judicial system records also show Butler was convicted in March 2018 in Nash County District Court for speeding and driving without a license. Butler was ordered to pay $190 in court costs in that case.