Smith. Photo from Lee County Jail website.

UPDATE (4:02 p.m.): The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has issued a brief press release confirming the arrest is related to McNeill’s murder.

ORIGINAL STORY: Lee County sheriff’s deputies have arrested a Durham man in connection with an August 2017 murder, The Rant has learned.

23-year-old Rayshaad Smith of Durham faces charges of murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery. The charges, which were filed on Tuesday, had not been announced by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office as of 3:50 p.m. Wednesday, but sources confirmed that they are related to the 2017 murder of Brennan McNeil and that Smith has already made a first appearance in Lee County District Court.

He remains in custody at the Lee County Jail without bond.

Sheriff Tracy Carter had in 2017 offered a $5,000 reward in connection with information leading to arrests in the case. McNeill’s body, which had suffered several gunshot wounds, was found by deputies in the early morning hours of Aug. 4, 2017 at 220 Oak Hollow Road in the Deep River area of Lee County.

It’s unclear whether further arrests are forthcoming, but the conspiracy charge against Smith at least indicates it’s a possibility.