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Authorities: Murder Suspect Threatened Pregnant Girlfriend

Posted December 10, 2007

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— A Durham man charged with killing his pregnant girlfriend had threatened the woman after learning she was pregnant, the woman's mother said.

Kenneth Earl White, 39, of 4020 Sudbury Road, was arrested Friday after the body of 21-year-old Ebony Chatell Robinson was found along a dirt road not far from the Durham County line. He was ordered held without bond at the Orange County Jail in a brief court appearance Monday morning.

A witness called 911 after she heard shots fired around 11 a.m. Friday on Wrenn Road, a dead-end road that leads to a mobile-home park off University Station Road.

Robinson was shot three times in the chest, according to her mother, Effie Steele.

A star athlete at Durham School of the Arts and a former North Carolina Central University student, Robinson was expecting a boy in January, Steele said.

Steele told Orange County Sheriff's Department investigators that her daughter and White, who lived on the same block, had an ongoing relationship and that White had threatened Robinson when he found out she was pregnant.

"I have a gun. You've seen it and know what I will do," White said to Robinson, according to Steele.

Deputies seized boxes of bullets and baby items – a stroller and a swing with Robinson's name on it – from White's home, according to a search warrant.

"It's a shocker. It's a shocker," Robinson's high school track coach, Dexter Mitchell, said. "She was very high-spirited. She'd nag you, but you couldn't help but love her."

Robinson's nickname in high school was "Smiley," he said.

Steele broke down in tears following White's court appearance. She said there would be two caskets at Robinson's funeral, which is scheduled for noon Tuesday at Mouth Zion Christian Church in Durham.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said he can't charge White with the death of Robinson's unborn child, but he said the fetal death would play a role in how the case proceeds.

"I think it could have a bearing," Woodall said.

White, a utility worker employed by Duke University, is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 3.

58 Comments

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  • nataliefaucette21 Dec 11, 3:57 p.m.

    i knew ebony very well and @ this point her decisions are irrelavant. a cruel selfish man took her and her unborn sons life. that should be the issue. not the fact that she chose to deal with that man. she didn't deserve to die. point blank. everyone is entitled to their own opinion but like the bible says " judge not less you be judged" & " let him w/o sin cast the first stone." please just honor the fact that she's gone. we are grieving right now and it really hurt me to read these comments. i love u ebony. u finally have that never ending peace.

  • Run_Forrest_Run Dec 11, 3:48 p.m.

    How different from the stories I hear all the time, about the boy wanting the girl to prove her love by having his baby (so he can get his share?? of the welfare monies).

    Sick of this trash. We are all responsible for our actions. She must have known this guy was a loser - so why have the 'long term' relationship. Women - you really need to make better choices in men and expect your man to live up to higher morality. (OK - I know getting murdered is not her fault and I do feel for her family).

  • justbnme Dec 11, 2:44 p.m.

    TO: kay4910
    December 10, 2007 4:39 p.m.

    Hey Smartie, I was just answering the questions
    regarding why didn't he just 'wrap it up'.
    Go Away. I said nothing bad towards the girl
    or her family. Get a grip!

  • Why Is My Slim Physique Envied Dec 11, 12:51 p.m.

    BIRTH CONTROL IS WIDELY AVAILABLE BUT YOU CANT FORCE PEOPLE TO TAKE IT! SHE OBVIOUSLY WANTED A BABY SO CONTRACEPTION IS NOT AN ISSUE. ALTHOUGH WE NEED TO EDUCATE THESE YOUNG GIRLS ON STDs, NOT SOME OF THOSE CAN KILL YOU.

  • Why Is My Slim Physique Envied Dec 11, 12:49 p.m.

    MARRIED MEN KILL THEIR WIVES TOO TO PREVENT THEIR BABIES FROM BEING DELIVERED, SO STOPPING THE CYCLE OF GETTING PREGNANT OUT OF WEDLOCK IS NOT A DETERENT!

  • stupiditydeservesnosympathy Dec 11, 11:09 a.m.

    Sad to say but Birth control is not as widely available as it should be. We need to make it and abortion an viable option.

  • newlife805 Dec 11, 5:35 a.m.

    It's truly sad. Since he actually pulled the trigger, at least he will be given life. When Rae Carruth, the Carolina football player killed his girlfriend, he had someone else pull the trigger, but he was present. I don't remember how many years he got, but he didn't get life and the baby survived with lots of problems. I hope this guy rots in prison. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends who have to deal with this senseless death.

  • FlSunshine Dec 10, 10:01 p.m.

    What happened to the efforts to get the Legislature to pass a law about prosecution for killing the unborn child? I know someone was doing something about this after the Young murder and the USA Today gal died. Did the effort just fizzle out????

  • Nancy Dec 10, 9:07 p.m.

    "He should be charged with 2 counts of murder...he murdered 2 human beings in cold blood."

    I agree, it was a near full term baby, obviously not aborted as she wanted the child. Many states consider murder of a pregnant woman as two counts of homicide.

    Figures NC doesn't.

  • skypilot-not Dec 10, 8:39 p.m.

    DEATH !!!!!!

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