Ex-wife: Shooting tied to alleged molestation


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A woman charged with being an accessory after the fact to the weekend shooting of a Pasquotank County man claims the shooting occurred because the victim had improper sexual contact with her 4-year-old daughter.

Racquel Gibbs, 34, claimed during a phone interview Tuesday that Deonte Stokley, the suspect in the shooting and her former husband, had good reason to shoot his stepfather, Johnnie Johnson, at Johnson’s home on Saturday.

"The reason why Deonte Stokley allegedly shot his stepfather in the groin is because my 4-year-old daughter was molested by him (Johnson) over the spring break," Gibbs said. "It sounds crazy because it is crazy."

Pasquotank Sheriff Randy Cartwright confirmed Tuesday that Gibbs made a report to his office that something happened to her daughter. But citing his department’s ongoing probe, Cartwright said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of Gibbs’ allegations.

Cartwright said previously the shooting incident occurred because of a family dispute. But he said Tuesday no allegation of wrongdoing justifies shooting someone.

"You still can't take the law into your own hands," he said.

Cartwright noted that Johnson remains hospitalized at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. 

The sheriff also made a pitch for Stokley, who remains at large, to surrender to law enforcement.

"Mr. Stokley needs to turn himself in," Cartwright said. "And then that way he can be interviewed on his side on why he did what did."

The Pasquotank Sheriff's Office says Stokley, whose address is in Winterville, is wanted on charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and felony discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling.

Gibbs, who’s accused of driving Stokley from Johnson’s residence following the shooting incident, was arrested in Pitt County and charged with felony aiding and abetting a crime. She was released after posting a $25,000 secured bond.

Gibbs, who identified herself as a licensed practical nurse, said she contacted The Daily Advance about her arrest because she wanted the public to hear her side of what happened.

"My name is tarnished because of this, but people don't know the whole story," Gibbs said. "It's not fair to me, it's not fair to Deonte and it's not fair to my daughter."

According to Gibbs, her daughter had been staying with her grandmother — Johnson’s wife — at their residence on Crooked Run Road from April 5 until Saturday morning, when Gibbs decided to drive from Greenville and pick her up. 

"A mother's instinct is what drove me from Greenville to pick up my baby at that time of the morning," she said.

Gibbs said after she learned her daughter allegedly had been molested, she and Stokley — from whom she’s divorced — reached out to Stokley's family members to discuss what happened. She claims all they received in response were phone voice mails denying anything wrong had happened.

Gibbs said after they dropped off their child at another person’s house, she and Stokley drove together to the Johnsons’ residence.

She said she waited in the vehicle as Stokley went in the house to talk with his stepfather about what had happened. She claims she didn't hear any gunshots, and Stokley soon came out of the house acting in a normal manner.

"I did not know that anyone was hurt. I never saw a gun," Gibbs said.

She said she and Stokley were supposed to pick up her daughter and together take her to a hospital, but she said Stokley ended up returning to his residence.

Asked how their daughter is doing, Gibbs said, "Not well emotionally." She said she's trying to get expert assistance for the child.

Stokely has an extensive criminal history, including a conviction for his role in the 2006 beating death of a beer truck driver. Stokley pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to involuntary manslaughter in the case and was sentenced to a minimum prison term of six months. He also was on probation for several crimes in Bertie County when he allegedly shot his stepfather.

Gibbs said she’s aware of Stokely’s background. 

"He works. He takes care of his daughter. He pays his bills. He pays his taxes," she said.