close
close

Weaverville man charged with premeditated murder of 86-year-old

Weaverville man charged with premeditated murder of 86-year-old
Weaverville man charged with premeditated murder of 86-year-old

A 35-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder after Buncombe County Sheriff’s officers were called to a Weaverville neighborhood on July 4 for a domestic violence incident and wellness check.

In an initial alert issued on the afternoon of July 4, the sheriff’s office warned of a “significant police presence” near Squirrel Ridge Drive. Officers had encountered a domestic violence incident and taken a suspect into custody.

Later that day, the sheriff’s office announced that the case had become a homicide investigation with a confirmed victim.

According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, officers then went to a home at 5 Ebernickle Lane to conduct a wellness check. Upon arrival, officers found Diana Lofland dead. Court documents say she was 86 years old. Police have not released any information on the victim’s suspected cause of death.

After an initial investigation, officers charged 35-year-old Eric Gentle with first-degree murder and arrested him. His arrest warrant states that he “intentionally killed and murdered” Lofland.

He is being held without bail at the Buncombe County Detention Center and has a court date of July 5.

Next of kin have been notified and the sheriff’s office said there is no threat to the community.

This story will be updated.

Ryley Ober is a public safety reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. You can email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ryleyober.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *