Local News

Third Plea Comes in Ambush Slaying

Posted October 3, 2007

— A third person pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon in connection with the slaying of a Durham man, who police said was lured to a wooded area and shot in the head.

Nicole L. Smith, 18, who was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Adam Christopher Lutz, pleaded guilty to a lesser felony charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery in exchange for her testimony in the murder trials of two other men charged in the case.

Authorities said Smith lured Lutz, 20, to the wooded area near her neighborhood to obtain the prescription pain killer Percocet. There, two other men – Michael Harrison Hunt Jr. and Tyrone Lamont Baker, both 20 – were waiting to shoot him.

Investigators said the motive was an ongoing dispute between Lutz and Hunt.

Hunt and Baker are expected to go on trial in the spring.

Smith faces a maximum sentence of 98 months in prison when she is sentenced, which likely would come after the trials for Hunt and Baker. But authorities said she could wind up with a probation sentence, based on her cooperation with the prosecution.

On Tuesday, Janeen Webb, 17, and Stephen Kyle Knight, 20, pleaded guilty to a felony obstruction of justice charge in the case for carrying away Hunt and Baker in a getaway car.

Webb, Smith and Knight will be sentenced after Hunt's and Baker's murder trials. Webb and Knight could each face a maximum of 30 months in jail, the judge said.


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  • MR EVANS Oct 4, 2007


  • nicelyplayin Oct 4, 2007

    First of all..ALL of these SNOTS should be under the jail..4 ever..this was a VERY WELL PLANNED AMBUSH by 5 cowards..he was going to see someone who he thought was a friend...Nobody needs friends like that. What about "Victims Justice" who named it "Criminal Justice" that is what this seems to be. All of them should have been charged with 1ST DEGREE MURDER, and NOT REDUCED to anything else..just lay the evidence on the table..tell the story and send them all to the cellar...dark, cold and no visitors..just like the Adam has. Make them pay any and all costs associated with their actions..including ANY pain and suffering on anyones part who loves Adam. We all loved this smiling young man who was the light of the day if you saw him coming..He made you smile before he got to ya..I can't believe these 5 people could be so heartless. Hopefully the Judge who sentences them won't show any mercy! JUDGE,PLEASE MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF THE 5 HEARTLESS COWARDS AND GIVE THEM THE MAX!!

  • Justice4adam_06 Oct 4, 2007

    Hey this is Adam's Girlfriend.. nicole wasnt a g/f or wasnt a old g/f either! Look i was there w/ him in the truck when this happened and it was the most terrible thing i've ever experinced or seen and i hope no one ever has to go through what i went through or what his family went through.. Adam was a great man and had a kind and sweet heart and We had a wonderful and beautiful baby boy together.. and now he'll never get to see him grow up and MY Question is '' what am i suppost to say to my son when he asks what happened to daddy!?? and another thing NONE of those ppl havent shown one part of themselves being sorry .. they have sat there in court and smiled and laughed like nothing ever happened! His family has gone through enough and to sit and watch those ppl smile like they were proud of what they did is just SICKING! and yes i hate the plea that they all got its not fair! Please just pray for all of us at this time!

  • richard2 Oct 3, 2007

    Plea deals suck.

  • law-2-tech Oct 3, 2007

    Thugs come in all races and sexes. This girl should be charge w/murder, the only plea reduction should have been 2nd degree murder. She knew what would happen and didn't care. That's cold-blooded. Regardless of what role the victim had in the drug deal, he deserved his life to either make it better or worse. Now that she's willing to flip on the other two, they are willing to let her slide. All because someone doesn't want to have to work a full case to trial. By the way, I assume these three who took these deals were already out on bond - this system is so crazy, not only in NC but nationwide. It's either too severe or too lenient. If his family truly agreed to this arrangement - may God help them be at ease...

  • jwssweetie01 Oct 3, 2007

    Well first off this makes me mad. I knew Adam, I was a good friend of Adams and dated him. Adam was a kind person with a big heart. For anyone to kill someone or to help kill a person deserves to ROT in prison where they belong!!! No this Nicole girl was not a girlfriend his girlfriend happened to be in the truck with him at the time of this ambush. Adam leaves behind a little boy who at the time was only 6 months old. This whole story makes me sick to my stomach and that anyone would actually give these horrible people a chance to be back on the street!!!!!!! Because of their cold heartedness Adams family and friends wont ever get the chance to be with Adam, why should their families get a chance to be with them again???

  • yeahright2 Oct 3, 2007

    Here are five young adults that I would like to see get the death penalty. It is a shame three are going to get off easy. The world can only be a better place without the five of them.

  • whatusay Oct 3, 2007

    I must be missing something here...help kill a human being and get probation? Our justice system is not working...or the morons running it is not working. Anything to solve a case, including letting the killer go free.

  • imyourhuckleberry Oct 3, 2007

    Reading these stories, as a parent, makes me sick to my stomach. I consider myself pretty square when it comes to abiding by the law, but reading stuff like this could push someone over the edge to take matters into their own hands. It will be interesting to see how the trial for the two boys accused of murder will play out.

    Where is the NAAWP?

  • lilangel135 Oct 3, 2007

    I cant believe she would only get probation!!! She is the main reason he is not with us anymore. All of them need to stay in prision and rot for what they did. Because of all 5 of them, he is not sitting at home with his family or watching his baby boy grow up!