LONG VIEW NC – A man neighbors said kissed and fondled a woman Sunday evening is now in jail charged with murdering the woman’s husband.

Johnny Lee Roland, 53, of 314 19th St. SW, was arrested Monday for the murder of Johnny Edward McGill, 53, Long View police said.

Roland was charged in court Monday with first-degree murder. District Court Judge Amy Walker said the maximum sentence is the death penalty or life in prison.

McGill and the suspect, also known as Little Johnny, started fighting after the suspect entered McGill’s home at 432 20th St. SW Sunday evening, neighbor Larry Carroll said. Carroll said he was inside McGill’s home when the suspect took an oxygen tube out of McGill’s wife’s nose, started kissing her and rubbed her breasts.

McGill grabbed the suspect by the shirt and told him to stop touching his wife, Carroll said. Carroll remembered the suspect telling McGill, “Don’t put your hands on me, man. That’s the worst thing you can do,” before the suspect left McGill’s house.

Carroll said the suspect and McGill were drinking alcohol.

The suspect returned to the McGill residence a few minutes later, took off McGill’s wife’s oxygen tube again and resumed kissing her and stroking her chest, Carroll said.

A fight between McGill and the suspect ensued.

The suspect was thrown through the glass of one of the home’s front windows and pulled back into the house by McGill, Carroll said. When McGill stood up from the floor after slinging the suspect to the ground, Carroll said he noticed blood gushing from a knife wound to McGill’s stomach. He said the deep cut ran across the width of McGill’s stomach.

Carroll said he tried to staunch the bleeding with towels and pressure, but the gaping cut was too deep for him to do much good. Covered in blood and desperately trying to save his neighbor, Carroll said he was frustrated when the first officer to arrive at the house refused to help him administer first aid and instead told him he just needed to keep applying pressure to the wound. Carroll said it took much too long for the first ambulance to arrive.

McGill was transported by ambulance to the Hickory Regional Airport, where a waiting helicopter flew him to a Lincolnton hospital, a news release from the Long View Police Department said. He died within hours.

Sgt. Michael Ford with the Long View Police Department said he knew of no history of police calls to McGill’s residence related to the suspect.

Carroll said the suspect came to McGill’s home every payday to give McGill’s wife money. He said due to a medical condition and medication, McGill’s wife was unaware of what happened between the suspect and her husband until Monday morning.

Roland is held without bond in the Catawba County Detention Facility. His next court date is scheduled for June 23 in Newton. Hickory attorney Lisa Dubs was appointed to defend him.

Staff writer Evan Matsumoto contributed to this story.

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