Kenneth Earl Allen, who was arrested early Wednesday on charges of robbing and murdering an 80 year old woman in her home off Lower Moncure Road, served several years in state prison for a 2006 robbery, according to the North Carolina Department of Correction.

Allen faces charges of first degree murder and robbery in connection with the death of 80 year old Norma Smith Brown, who was found dead in her home on Polly Lane by her grandson on Sunday evening. Authorities later found her abandoned car near downtown Sanford about three miles from her home.

Allen, 37, was located in the early morning hours Wednesday in a vacant lot nearby and appears to have a fairly lengthy criminal record. His profile at the state Department of Correction website shows convictions for breaking and entering in 2001 and 2004, as well as counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and robbery with a dangerous weapon in 2006. All of the convictions in question happened in Lee, Chatham or Moore counties. He was incarcerated in state prisons from 2006 to 2017, and ended his parole just last August.

Allen apparently made a first appearance in Lee County court today, and remains in the Lee County Jail without bond.

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