Lancaster Man Charged with Murder, Dumping Body in Woods

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CHARLOTTE, NC — A Lancaster man with a long criminal record was arrested Friday for murdering a man and tossing his body in the woods.

Lancaster police charged 24-year-old David Pate in connection with the murder of 33-year-old Rickey James. James was reported missing by his family on October 19. Pate was already in jail on charges of disorderly conduct.

On Saturday, two teens found James’ decomposing body in the woods, covered with brush behind Pate’s home on Mullis Circle in Lancaster.

Neighbors we spoke with say that Pate was quiet and often kept to himself.

“You could tell something was wrong with him, but I didn’t think he would harm someone that bad,” says Lancaster resident Konesha Patterson.

Patterson says she upset this sort of gruesome crime happened in her backyard. But she says she hopes the arrest will bring the James’ family some closure.

Pate has been arrested 11 times since 2009. Charges range from burglary to assault and battery and disorderly conduct.