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Bond Denied in Grandmother's Grisly Murder

Posted May 17, 2007

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— A judge on Thursday declined to reduce the bond for a Rocky Mount man charged with raping, killing and mutilating his neighbor, as the man continued to profess his innocence.

Andre Demetrius Vines, 27, of 1712 Fletcher Drive, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape, first-degree arson and robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the April 29 slaying of 65-year-old Ellen Sharpe.

Sharpe was beaten, raped and strangled, and her Rocky Mount home was set on fire to cover up evidence of her murder, police said. Her hands were severed and were taken from the scene, and they still haven't been found, police said.

Vines is being held in the Edgecombe County Jail without bond, and he asked District Judge William Stewart to set a low bond so that he could post it. He told the judge he works two jobs and needed to get back to work so he could pay child support.

Stewart said a lawyer would be appointed to represent Vines, and any questions about bond would be addressed after the lawyer takes charge of the case.

Vines denied any involvement in the crime when he was arrested Wednesday and continued to claim police picked him as their suspect because of his criminal record.

"Of course not," he said Thursday when asked outside the courtroom if he had killed Sharpe. "Unfortunately, when you have a record and circumstantial evidence kind of adds up, (police) tend to take the easiest way out."

Vines, who lived across the street from Sharpe, was convicted in 1998 of robbery with a dangerous weapon and was released from prison in 2005. Police said he also had a criminal record that involved narcotics and assault.

Police said they focused on Vines as a suspect early on, but they had to awaiting results of DNA tests performed on evidence taken from Sharpe's home.

Vines told investigators that he had visited Sharpe at her home several times before, they said. Police said they found no signs of forced entry, which made them suspect she knew her killer.

Investigators said they still don't have a motive for the slaying, but Sharpe's family said they're relieved an arrest has been made.

"I'm happy this person is off the street. I certainly want him to stay off the street," said Dorothy Boddie, Sharpe's sister-in-law. "I hope that they have the right person, and he's going to pay for the pain that he caused this loving family.

"No one deserved to be taken from us that way, (especially) someone as sweet and caring as she. It's just hard for us fathom that she died this way," Boddie said.


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  • veryconcern May 18, 2007

    I am pretty sure the family thanks all that are concerned and thinking of them and praying for them. Hopfuly they will grt some closure from the arrest but would love to know why and where her hands are maybe he will manup and confesse and disclose the location and give the family a reason

  • andreawesco May 18, 2007

    They are saying DNA evidence not circumstantial so if that is true then he is one sick person. My thoughts are with her family what a terrible way to loose a loved one. I hope the killer gets what they deserve!!!!

  • narcolepsy123456 May 18, 2007

    123 Lets Go, a public hanging would be very suitable for such a crime as this

  • reportbuttercrack May 18, 2007

    Another poor black man gets a bad rap. This man was a arrested at work. Out of all the unemployed black men couldn't the police have framed one of them instead?

  • then who cares May 17, 2007

    I believe the article said the police still did not have a motive. But I believe rape is a pretty realistic motive.
    One reason her hands may have been taken is the possibility she put up a fight and maybe had quite a bit of DNA under her nails. Of course there is also the possibility of a perverted need for a souvenir. It would be interesting to see if the accused has any scratches.
    Let's not jump to conclusions about guilt; even as hard as they try there is always the possibility the accused was arrested based on other crime convictions. Let justice take its course! Remember Duke!! And I definitely don't mean to compare this victim to the Duke accuser in any way; don't read that into it!!

  • Notinitforthemoney May 17, 2007

    Can someone say Death Penalty

  • Hip-Shot May 17, 2007

    If there is a clear DNA match, especially semen, the animal does not deserve bail. He deserves a mode of punishment on the level of what he gave this poor 65 year old lady...he doesn't deserve lethal injection, that would be too good for him.

  • 123-LETS-GO May 17, 2007

    What kind of a SICK individual would rape, and mutilate anyone and then set the house on fire to cover it up, much less a defenseless 65 year old woman.
    This guy (if guilty) will never get near what he deserves through the justice system but PUBLIC HANGING sounds good.

  • kidsrn May 17, 2007

    jcrew1979---simple, effective, excellent solution. Maybe then more would think before raping or killing someone.

  • nc lover May 17, 2007

    @Justdontunderstand - If he is guilty an convicted lets just see how Cocky his attitude is on Death Row or life in Prision without the possibilty of Parole.