Local News

At least two teens will be tried as adults in Raleigh man's death

Posted February 27, 2013
Updated August 13

— At least two of the five teenagers facing charges in the death last year of a Raleigh homeless man will be tried as adults, a Wake County District Court judge ruled Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Regynald Jose Brown, 37, was beaten to death and placed in a trash can in a drainage tunnel along the Walnut Creek Trail of the Capital Area Greenway in Raleigh sometime between early November and Dec. 8, when friends found his body.

Three 15-year-old boys and a 13-year-old boy are accused of murder, and another 15-year-old is accused of helping them after the killing.

Judge Robert Rader found probable cause Wednesday morning that one of the 15-year-olds should stand trial in Superior Court on a first-degree murder charge.

Assistant District Attorney Katy Pomeroy said the teen watched, participated in and encouraged Brown's attack.

"It literally shocks the mind to imagine doing this for sport," she said.

The suspect's defense attorney, George Kelly, however, said his client did not intend to kill Brown.

Also Wednesday, an afternoon hearing before District Judge Vince Rozier for another suspect was continued until next week so that his defense attorney can review new evidence in the case.

Prosecutors also said that another 15-year-old suspect waived his probable cause hearing and agreed to be tried as an adult on a second-degree murder charge in exchange for his testimony in the case. The 13-year-old also agreed to testify for the state as part of an agreement that will keep him in the juvenile court system.

The 15-year-old testified Wednesday morning that the group had a habit of attacking homeless people – what they called "a lick" – and were looking for a victim in November when they found Brown.

They took turns hitting him and beat and kicked him even after he was bleeding and knocked unconscious, the teen said. They dragged him 30 feet into the tunnel, just east of Hammond Road. One of them hit Brown three times in the head with a rock, and they left him to die.

The 13-year-old suspect testified in the second hearing Wednesday afternoon that they returned several days later to hide Brown's body in the trash can.

Samuel Evans, another witness for the state, testified that he was on his way home from work around the time of Brown's disappearance when he saw two boys rolling a city-issued trash can down the street toward the greenway.

It was Evans' interview with police, detective Eric Gibney testified, that led authorities to the teen suspects. Police went to the address on the trash can where one of the teens lived.

Brown was last seen alive at church by Jaqueline Adams, the mother of his 5-year-old daughter, on Oct. 31, Adams testified.

Although the two did not live together, she said, Brown was an active part of her and her daughter's lives and would visit on a regular basis.

He had been having a hard time finding work and had been staying with a friend. At times, she said, he also camped along the greenway.

When she hadn't heard from him by Nov. 20, she reported him missing and began searching for him in the woods and at homeless camp sites in Raleigh.

She was also part of a group that was searching for him on Dec. 8, when they found his body head-first in the trash can.

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  • rbaff79 Aug 14, 10:39 a.m.

    "Funny, I remember that, when I was 15, I knew that murder was wrong. When I was 13 I knew that... View More

    — Posted by Grand Union

    Stop...close your eyes and think for a second. Think "why" voting (a minor subject in your opinion) is not allowed for teenagers (the limit used to be 21 at one time). If you cannot, look it up. There's a debate page for raising the limit back to 21 here (http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-the-voting-age-increase-to-21).

    Do some more critical thinking about the other point you made.

    Then compare this to how much critical thinking goes into knowing that committing a pre-meditated murder is WRONG!

  • Sherlock Mar 1, 11:40 a.m.

    The 15-year-old testified Wednesday morning that the group had a habit of attacking homeless people – what they called "a lick" – and were looking for a victim in November when they found Brown.. they should all be tried as adults..THEY KNEW

  • ncguy321 Feb 28, 6:35 p.m.

    Dan Cooper...how do you know I dont care about the boys? How do you that I don't know them? You don't. You and the others are the worst kind of ignorant as you have no desire to learn about the real world our societies poor live in and what they deal with daily. Again, I am not excusing these boys for what they did I am merely observing that you and others here have no concept if how others live. U would like to see how you would turn out in a single parent family, impoverished, neighborhood full of gangs, no future or hope instilled in you. Yes, I am sure you would have been perfect.

  • Red Green Feb 28, 5:52 p.m.

    ".....if we don't trust kids to be able to make rational choices of relatively minor subjects like that why on earth do you think they are capable of making a rational choice to kill someone?????" Grand Union

    So according to you commiting murder is a rational choice? Don't be obtuse, everyone at that age knows it's wrong to kill someone and if they make a conscious choice to beet someone bad enough to kill them they should be tried as adults. End of story!

  • Red Green Feb 28, 3:15 p.m.

    “ Oh I do so love Irony. Charging children as adults is barbaric and pure hypocrisy.” Grand Union

    So let me see if I can get this straight in my head, it’s society’s duty to let murderers walk but yet you think we need to confiscate firearms from law abiding citizens. What’s wrong with this picture?

  • Grand Union Feb 28, 2:51 p.m.

    "Funny, I remember that, when I was 15, I knew that murder was wrong. When I was 13 I knew that murder was wrong. When I was 5 I knew that murder is wrong.
    The notion that someone cannot develop enough to know that such things are wrong until age 21 is absurd."

    LOL and so why can't you vote until you are 18? why can't you decide who you want to have sex with until you are 18.....if we don't trust kids to be able to make rational choices of relatively minor subjects like that why on earth do you think they are capable of making a rational choice to kill someone?????

  • Grand Union Feb 28, 2:28 p.m.

    "You don't care about the victim OR the offenders, you only see an opportunity to insult others and feign enlightenment. What you are expressing is an opinion and quite an unoriginal one at that."

    Oh I do so love Irony. Charging children as adults is barbaric and pure hypocrisy. Justice is not about the victim. Justice is to protect society, but society cannot decide on one hand its convenient to treat children as children purely based on their age for Driving, voting, sex etc and then turn around and then treat the same people as adults because it fits in with a primitive old testament wish for revenge.

  • ncouterbanks69 Feb 28, 2:00 p.m.

    Justice

  • Uhavenoclu Feb 28, 1:57 p.m.

    The suspect's defense attorney, George Kelly, however, said his client did not intend to kill Brown.

    Always after the facy huh?Was the lawyer there?,did the lawyerr know how they were thinking and planning?,was the lawyer part of it?,try the lawyer as well...
    They intended to do harm.They found the guy and talked about doing him harm whether for a slit second ot 5 days.They still planned to do him harm.
    The only crime they should be tried for is stupididty,why do criminals think that robbing the ghetto and homeless people and killing them will bring them millions and make them heros....
    "What did you do?"
    "I killed a homeless man".
    Homeless shelters are mainly halfway houses for people on probation who just got out or for battered women...Have fun boys

  • Dan Cooper Feb 28, 12:26 p.m.

    "The repeated ignorance in this board is astounding. These are children who did a terrible wrong but they are children."

    You don't care about the victim OR the offenders, you only see an opportunity to insult others and feign enlightenment. What you are expressing is an opinion and quite an unoriginal one at that.

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