Local News

Suspect Arrested in Durham Man's Slaying

Posted November 19, 2007
Updated November 20, 2007

— A suspect in the slaying of an 89-year-old Bragtown man surrendered on Monday evening, Durham County Sheriff Worth L. Hill announced.

Last Friday, the sheriff's office swore out warrants against Tory Jarel Nelson, 18, of 5121 Stanley Road, in the stabbing death of Charles Forest Davis. Davis was found dead in his home at 2913 Nellowood St. on Sept. 26.

Nelson surrendered to Barry Jones, of Barry Bail Bonds Inc., at 6 p.m. Monday. He was then taken to the Durham County magistrate's office, where detectives met him.

Nelson is charged with first-degree murder, breaking and entering larceny and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Authorities said other arrests in the case were pending.

Detectives said Nelson had been a focus of the investigation from the start, but they did not release a picture of him and call him a person of interest until two weeks ago. They officially named him a suspect and began actively searching for him after getting the warrants.

Investigators said that Davis was stabbed to death and his home had been ransacked.

Earlier, detectives said they thought Davis' death might have been connected to a series of break-ins in the Bragtown neighborhood. In 10 days surrounding the killing, police investigated at least eight break-ins in the area.

On Sept. 28, investigators searched Nelson's house and seized a pair of jeans, but the search produced no arrests.

A day after Davis's body was found, a deputy spotted his car and gave chase, but the people inside jumped out, ran and escaped. A confidential informant told investigators that Nelson was driving the stolen car, authorities said.

According to a search warrant, blood stains on and inside the Buick Century indicated a transfer of evidence from Davis' home to the car and to the occupants of the car.

Davis served as a deacon at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, where he was a member for more than 50 years.


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  • mr_natural Nov 20, 2007

    The death penality is no longer used in NC. The connection between an absentee father and criminality bears looking into, but every case is unique. Generalities do not prevent crimes as horrible as this one.

  • FairPlay Nov 20, 2007

    No matter his background he needs t be punished to the max!! If the motive was robbery why did he have to murder a good citizen? Just take some stuff and go. He is TRASH!!

  • mom27863 Nov 20, 2007

    "I bet the kid is from a fatherless home... doogaad"

    My kids are from a fatherless home, but they aren't out killing people. I do wish people would stop automatically labeling children from single parent homes as bad. How many crimes are committed by individuals from two parent homes? That information isn't widely published because it doesn't attract viewers/readers.

  • ataloss Nov 20, 2007

    Bring back the draft. Let these idiots learn about the value of life by putting theirs on the line. Maybe a little discipline will straighten some of these punks out.

  • NCMOMof3 Nov 20, 2007

    I'm glad they've caught at least one of the people that took this man's life. I don't care what circumstances this sorry excuse for an individual grew up in, there comes a point in everyone's life where they become responsible for their own actions regardless of their childhood. Your childhood can not be a crutch or an excuse for you for the rest of your life. This young man, and I use young man very loosely, knew what he was doing was wrong but he didn't care. I don't care what excuses he has, it was wrong and he deserves whatever poor excuse our country has for a consequence for his actions. He should get the death penalty and it should be swift. However, we all know that will not be the case.

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Nov 20, 2007

    This guy needs to rot in jail but I hate to think my tax dollars will make him some-what comfortable.

  • Spooner Nov 20, 2007

    Welcome to Durham. Bring a gun. Do not be kind to anyone; do not strike up conversations with anyone when walking to your car in public places. Do not open your door when the doorbell rings at an odd hour. Keep your firearm close by when falling asleep if you live anywhere in city limits. The victim in this case may have been a trusting person which could have let the suspect(s) inside to use the phone. I am sorry this can even happen at all but this is life in Durham, and has been for quite sometime.

  • akrafty1 Nov 20, 2007

    What happens during the course of a life that makes this acceptable behavior? If found guilty I am afraid that we don't have a punishment to fit this crime.

    Why does a life and crime and prison seem so attractive to our youth?

  • Sessy - Italiana Nov 20, 2007

    ANOTHER young life totally WASTED!


    My heart goes out to the family that lost their loved one over a PUNK!

  • Beach Music Forever Nov 20, 2007

    Sad thing is that the drugs are ruled by the "well to do" folks, who have their money deep in everyone's pockets.