Ex-minister charged with murder of infant daughter from Lumberto - WSPA.com

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Ex-minister charged with murder of infant daughter from Lumberton

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LUMBERTON, NC - Authorities in Scotland County have charged a former church pastor with first-degree murder in the death of his infant daughter.

The Robesonian of Lumberton reports  Capt. Jon Edwards of the Scotland County Sheriff's Office said 52-year-old Lawrence McNeill Dowdy of Wagram is charged in the death of 7-month-old Peyton Dowdy, who lived in Lumberton.

Dowdy is also charged with felony child abuse.

Authorities say Dowdy was charged after medical personnel were summoned to his home by family members on Monday and found Peyton dead from severe head injuries, the Laurinburg Exchange newspaper reported.

“There were older signs of abuse on the child also,” Capt. Edwards told the Exchange, noting significant bruising on the Peyton’s torso.

Dowdy, who had been a minister at a Baptist church in Robeson County, is being held without bond at the Scotland County Detention Center.

In 2010, Dowdy was appointed by the Gov. Beverly Perdue to serve as the Faith-based Outreach Coordinator for North Carolina.

The Robesonian reported that Dowdy was a speaker among several leaders from the community at a "Day of Learning" in Scotland County earlier this year.

From Wagram, N.C., Dowdy attended North Carolina A&T and earned his Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

In 2010, Dowdy was the senior pastor at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Proctorville, N.C., and the vice-moderator for the Lumber River Baptist Association.

Jail records didn't indicate whether Dowdy had an attorney.

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