Death penalty trial begins for Raleigh double murder suspect
Posted February 24, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of a Raleigh man who could potentially face the death penalty if he's found guilty of killing two people during a string of robberies in 2008.
Armond Devega, 32, is charge with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Anthony Dwayne Scarborough and Stephanie Powell Anderson.
Police say Devega and Scarborough – who was killed during a Feb. 13, 2008, home invasion on Tartan Circle in Raleigh – knew one another while imprisoned at the Johnston Correctional Center and that Devega might have held a grudge against Scarborough.
Powell, 39, a gas station clerk at a Wilco-Hess gas station in north Raleigh, was shot to death after she arrived to open the store early on April 10, 2008. Investigators say Devega had been waiting for her and shot her when she was unable to open the store's safe.
Because it is a capital murder case, prosecutors and defense attorneys estimate that the process of selecting a jury could take up to three weeks.
Opening statements are scheduled for March 17. Testimony could last up to eight weeks.
Devega also faces several other charges, including one count of attempted murder and nine counts of robbery, in connection with robberies at several other restaurants and convenience stores in Raleigh.
The attempted murder charge stems from the Sept. 10, 2008, shooting of a clerk at a check-cashing business on Wake Forest Road.
Devega's case is the oldest pending in Wake County.
He was arrested in October 2008, and last year, he refused a plea deal.
His trial was also delayed once after an attorney representing him had to be removed because of an illness.
Devega is the first person in Wake County to potentially face the death penalty since Jason Williford went to trial in 2012 for the first-degree murder of Kathy Taft, a state school board member who was beaten to death and brutally raped while recovering from surgery at the Raleigh home of a friend.
Jurors found Williford guilty of first-degree murder but recommended he be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.