A Marion man with a long criminal history – including a second-degree murder conviction -- faces numerous charges stemming from a knife attack last year, and a chase in October that left him seriously injured.
Capt. Shanon Smith of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged James Lee Larry, 47, of 41 Grove St., with assault inflicting serious injury.
On May 7, 2015, Larry and another Marion man, 46-year-old Marty Willis, got into an altercation at 154 Gurleigh Loop in Marion. Both men were stabbed and had to be taken to Mission Hospital in Asheville.
An investigation led to an assault charge against Larry.
Then, at 11:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, Detective J.T. Grindstaff of the Sheriff’s Office was off duty and spotted Larry at Murphy’s Express, on Sugar Hill Road, and knew there was an outstanding felony warrant for him.
Deputy Patrick Guion responded to Sugar Hill Road and attempted to stop the motorcycle that Larry was operating. The motorcycle sped up, reaching speeds of 110 mph, and continued several miles on Sugar Hill, finally hitting loose gravel on Dink Cannon Road and wrecking.
Guion searched Larry and recovered three knives and a .380-caliber handgun from his person, as well as drug paraphernalia. The firearm found in Larry’s possession had been reported stolen.
Larry was taken to l Mission Hospital after suffering serious injuries in the wreck. He was recently released and charged by Guion with driving while license revoked, fictitious or altered title or registration card or tag, possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding 110 in a 45 mph zone, reckless driving to endanger, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen firearm and fleeing to elude arrest.
Larry has a long criminal history dating back to the 1980s, including a 14-year prison sentence for second-degree murder.
On July 14, 1990, Larry was arrested for the murder of David Lee McCormick, 25, of Marion after an argument involving McCormick’s wife and Larry’s brother resulted in Larry beating the victim to death with an axe handle.
Originally charged with first-degree murder, Larry testified in court that McCormick instigated the argument and allegedly assaulted him with a stick before pulling out a knife. Larry, claiming to have seen the knife, swung the axe handle and struck McCormick.
After a two-hour deliberation, a McDowell County jury found Larry guilty of second-degree murder on June 6, 1991 and sentenced him to 40 years maximum in prison. He was released in 2005.