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Man who escaped death penalty shot in Orange County

Posted June 2, 2010
Updated June 3, 2010

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— An Orange County resident is accused of shooting a man early Wednesday who was once acquitted of a double slaying.

Investigators with the Orange County Sheriff's Office said that Durante Turan "Big Mac" Davis, 33, of 2716 Hayes Drive, shot Robert "Peanut" Gattis Jr., 46, at Davis' home east of Hillsborough at about 5:45 a.m.

Durante Turan "Big Mac" Davis Longstanding dispute leads to shooting

"There had been words exchanged at the residence, and then Robert Gattis came back later," said Capt. Archie Daniel of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

A deputy apprehended Davis about a mile from his home. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill resulting in serious injury.

Gattis was in stable condition Wednesday afternoon at Duke University Hospital, investigators said. His cousin, Christopher Hilton, said Gattis was shot twice in the head.

"He's got some pellet holes through his eye that might take his eye out," Hilton said. "I hope he's all right."

Gattis was acquitted in the slayings of two men during an attempted robbery of a poker game in Hillsborough in 2002.

Months after the 2003 murder trial, he was charged in a Cary bank robbery. A jury acquitted him in that case as well.

Hilton said that Gattis has a long-standing, acrimonious relationship with Davis. Investigators have said the two men knew each other but haven't commented on a motive.

"They've never liked each other," Hilton said.

Gattis was shot while in his car, then jumped out of the car and banged on his cousin's door, waking him and his parents up, Hilton said. Gattis then drove himself to his girlfriend's house, where paramedics picked him up.

State Department of Correction records show that Gattis has criminal record dating to 1981, including convictions for being a habitual felon and robbery with a dangerous weapon. He most recently served time for 2007 larceny and safe-cracking convictions.

Davis has previous convictions for possession of drug paraphernalia, DOC records show.

"We've dealt with both of these gentlemen for some time," Daniel said.

Davis was being held Wednesday in the Orange County Jail under a $1 million bond. He was also wanted a warrant for failure to appear in court on a drug charge.


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  • ifcdirector Jun 4, 2010

    This is the same guy who robbed the Harris Teeter here in Raleigh at Cameron Village with a gun. He was never prosecuted for that at all.

  • Duke _Nukem Jun 4, 2010

    What comes around, goes around Peanut.

  • wildcat Jun 3, 2010

    Bring back the Chain GAng and let them clean state road and road kill.

    That is exactly what the state needs to do. Bring them back to their home-town, so everyone can see them all chain up. That would be the best thing ever.

  • dogsrule12cheek Jun 3, 2010

    Neither one of them are worth anything, anyone who lived in hillsborough knows that,,,, i am glad to hear he's off the street............

    Bring back the Chain GAng and let them clean state road and road kill.

  • censorbait Jun 3, 2010

    Most black on black crime is this kind of situation which accounts for the disparity in the death penalty being sought when the victim is white. Both of these guys were no stranger to law enforcement. Gang and drug related disputes result in a lot of shootings in the black community. The situation needs some serious attention from people like William Barber but I won't hold my breath.

  • turdferguson Jun 3, 2010

    Tell your congressman you want a 3 strikes law in NC. Both of these scumbags should have already been off the streets.

  • chevybelair57sd Jun 2, 2010

    The justice system in this country is clearly broke just like the local government budgets for dealing with it. the rest of the western world is even worse. If you think it'll get better, wait until this recession really sinks in and the bill comes totally due.

  • braddavis Jun 2, 2010

    and wildcat, he did do his time and was released. His sentence should've been longer. Guess who lobbies for reduced sentences and shorter sentences for harsh crimes.......you got it, liberal judges and politicians. Not sure I'm the one you want to debate with. I read your garbage on here daily and rarely have you brought any credibility to a news story.

  • rdgilleland Jun 2, 2010

    So how are we to be part of the solution? We vote yet we have a justice system that fails. I do not have a twisted perception of reality at all...your comment is why I registered. I'm intelligent and would like to hear your suggestion.

  • braddavis Jun 2, 2010

    5-113 FA Retired, First off, it speaks of your intelligence to call one you don't know a knucklehead. Secondly, I believe my point is that I've seen firsthand how liberal judges allow thugs such as the one in this story second, third, fourth, etc. chances when the truth is they don't deserve any second chance and put my family and yours at risk with their left-wing beliefs. So, my friend, am I polarizing, I hope not, but am I concisely on point, absolutely........and for intelligence, if I were you I'd go have a talk with the man in the mirror before I questioned anyone else's IQ level.