Napoleon Nicholson, 41, of Warrenton, and Wendell Danshell Hargrove, 40, of Henderson, are scheduled to appear in Warren County Criminal Superior Court during the Sept. 9 trial session on murder and attempted murder charges, respectively, related to two separate cases.



Nicholson was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the November 2017 death of Thomas Rainey.

According to court documents, Warren County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to a disturbance at Rainey’s Tunstall Road, Warrenton, address. When the call came in, a man said that a Napoleon Nicholson would not leave his residence, and the dispatcher heard the caller tell what sounded like another man to “get back.”

According to court documents, when deputies arrived at the scene, they found a male subject, later identified as Rainey, lying in the yard with injuries to his neck and face, including a large wound to his forehead. Rainey was transported by Warren County Emergency Medical Services to Maria Parham Health in Henderson and transferred by medical helicopter to Duke Hospital in Durham, where he later died.

Criminal Investigator J. Horne of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office reported that several days before Rainey’s death, Nicholson confessed to assaulting him.

In 2018, prosecutors announced that they would not seek the death penalty against Nicholson.



Hargrove faces multiple charges in connection with a March 2018 incident.

Warrenton Police Chief Goble Lane previously reported that a man at the car wash across from Hardee’s on Warrenton’s Ridgeway Street was robbed at gunpoint and his wallet taken. The victim was struck in the head, but declined medical treatment, Lane said.

Det. D.C. Brown of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office was driving by the car wash at the time of the incident and saw what happened. When Brown turned his car around to investigate, the suspect, later identified as Hargrove, fled the scene in the vehicle he had arrived in, with Brown chasing him.

The chase led from Ridgeway Street to Brehon Street before Hargrove was forced to stop at the dead end on Brehon. Hargrove abandoned his car and ran into the woods behind some houses.

Multiple law enforcement agencies worked together to set up a perimeter, and a K-9 officer from the Vance County Sheriff’s Office was brought in. Lane reported that Hargrove was located in a residence on Park Drive off West Franklin Street, where Hargrove said that he had been staying.

Warrenton Police Sgt. D. Ward negotiated with Hargrove to surrender to officers. Hargrove eventually came to the door with his hands up, but refused to come further. He was soon taken into custody and had sustained several dog bites in the upper left arm from the K-9 officer.

Lane said that while Hargrove was in a wooded area, Det. Brown reported that he heard a gun shot, but no law enforcement officer was injured.

The police chief reported that the car Hargrove was driving was stolen from Vance County.

Hargrove requested treatment for his dog bite injuries and was transported to Maria Parham Health in Henderson.

Court documents indicate that Hargrove attempted to break free as Warrenton Officer M.R. Groves attempted to handcuff him, and that he struck Groves in the face with his forearm.

Charges against Hargrove include misdemeanor assault by pointing a gun, resisting a public officer, misdemeanor assault on a government official/employee, and felony robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury, and five counts of felony attempted first-degree murder.