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from left: Madison Dawn Lail & Thomas Wayne Mathis
courtesy of Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office

Two Charged in Connection with 2021 Lincoln County Homicide

31-year-old Madison Dawn Lail of Maiden and 38-year-old Thomas Wayne Mathis, with no listed address, have both been charged by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detectives in connection with the July 13, 2021 death of 37-year-old William Buster McCarter of Lincolnton. Lail and Mathis were each charged with first-degree murder.

On the date of the crime, Deputies were dispatched to Smith Farm Road reference a suspicious vehicle that was off the roadway in a secluded wooded area. The vehicle was unoccupied. Deputies searched the area and a Lincoln County K-9 Unit was brought to the area. The dog quickly found the body of an unidentified male. The body was sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem where the deceased was identified as Mr. McCarter.

Lail was arrested yesterday (February 9) following an interview at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. On the same date, Investigators searched for Mathis at several locations in Catawba County. He was eventually found in Lancaster County, South Carolina where he was taken into custody. Today, Mathis agreed to extradition. Lincoln County Detectives planned to pick up Mathis in South Carolina today.

Lail is being held in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center without bond. No court appearances are currently scheduled.