Local News

Plea Deals Reached in Ambush Slaying

Posted October 2, 2007
Updated October 3, 2007

— Two people charged in what authorities call an ambush slaying of a 20-year-old Durham man entered a plea in court Tuesday, and one other person was expected to do so Wednesday.

Janeen Webb, 17, and Stephen Kyle Knight, 20, who were each charged with accessory after the fact to murder, pleaded guilty to a felony obstruction of justice charge in connection with the Aug. 8, 2006, shooting of Adam Christopher Lutz.

A third person, Nicole L. Smith, 18, who is charged with first-degree murder in the case, was expected to enter a plea Wednesday.

Authorities said Smith lured Lutz to a wooded area in Durham County, where two other men – Michael Harrison Hunt Jr. and Tyrone Lamont Baker, both 20 – were apparently waiting to shoot him. Webb and Knight, authorities said, drove a getaway car.

Lutz died from a single bullet to the back of the head, Durham District Attorney David Saacks said in court Tuesday.

Webb, Smith and Knight will be sentenced after they testify in Hunt's and Baker's murder trials, which likely won't start until the spring.

Webb and Knight could each face a maximum of 30 months in jail, the judge said.

Lutz's family agreed to the plea deal, but they said after court Tuesday that the process of grieving hasn't been any easier.

"He was my only grandson," said Ann Dobies. "I just want justice done. I want people to know we care about Adam."

Lutz would have been 22 on Wednesday.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • nicelyplayin Oct 4, 2007

    In the Wind..So sorry to have heard about your son losing his life and the judge smacking them on the hand..What a smack to you and his friends. The defendants attorney must have been Wallace Bradsher..after all he is the only trial attorney Person County talks alot about as setting the guilty free by making it sound like the Criminal is the Victim..yeah right..."help is on the way via the Lion"...shoot that is one trial attorney who makes the victims pay..truly..baadddd attorney and to think he wants to be a D.A. what a joke this would be for Person County!! Poor people believe he would actually do good for the victim..he just wants another notch on his belt with another victory and flaunts it in the newspaper as the top trial attorney in Person County winning a high percentage of his cases while others are plea bargained out ..check out the newspaper next office run!! Shame on him for doing such a good job for the criminal!!

  • Gafan003 Oct 3, 2007

    Because people in and who support the NAACP keep the "race" card going, that's why. It's time for someone to fight back instead of sitting on your rearends and taking it.

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Oct 3, 2007

    Ugh why must everything turn into a race discussion? Find another DEAD HORSE to beat people!

  • Gafan003 Oct 3, 2007

    Other than being a racist, what is the basis for your question? If there is any disparity here, it is with the DA's office. These defendents haven't been overcharged with their crime.

    Well, you're right and wrong. I'm sure there will be a rally to get them off, just like every other time.

  • Gafan003 Oct 3, 2007

    JustJean is right. Why isn't the NAACP involved in this one, or will they be there soon?

  • rahowa_2 Oct 3, 2007

    or to buy a vowel whatever

  • rahowa_2 Oct 3, 2007

    oops forgot bowel

  • rahowa_2 Oct 3, 2007

    You know why. There is no gain for the "movement" if a White person is harmed .

  • john1qpublic Oct 3, 2007

    Why the plea bargaining? I think that this is a practice that should be looked at long and hard by our justice system. Especially in crimes that involve murder and rape. NO PLEA BARGAINING! Adam Lutz wasn't given the option of making a bargain-- he was executed. Take these punks and execute them with a guillotine on tv. Max the punishment out.

  • wveagleson Oct 3, 2007

    So why isn't the NAACP fussing over this one? Two of the defendants are brown and three are peachy....oh wait sorry the guy who was killed wasn't brown, my oops! - justjean

    Other than being a racist, what is the basis for your question? If there is any disparity here, it is with the DA's office. These defendents haven't been overcharged with their crime.