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Church Remembers Slain Deacon; Teen Faces Charges

Posted January 13, 2008
Updated January 14, 2008

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— Members of the Old Liberty Missionary Church in Louisburg expressed relief Sunday that an arrest had been made in the murder of a beloved church deacon.

“We've been trying to heal, but it has been so hard,” church member Esther Perry said.

Latrell Cyrell Latham of 4908 N. New Hope Road, was charged Thursday afternoon in the Oct. 23 death of Richard Gus Brown, 74.

Brown was shot and killed as he checked his mail on Wallingford Drive in Raleigh after returning from a meeting at the church. Latham, 16, was a 9th grader at Millbrook High School until dropping out.

”That was probably the most unbelievable part of the entire case,” said Dr. Charles Murrill, senior pastor at Old Liberty Missionary Church.

“He's just a kid. His life is ruined forever,” Perry said.

Latham lived less than two blocks away from where Brown was shot. He had been arrested Nov. 13 on an unrelated armed robbery charge and was already in jail when police charged him in Brown's death.

“At least there's someone that we can forgive, that we can pray for, and certainly we're concerned for their family as much as we're concerned about our church family,” Murrill said.

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said information collected in the case led investigators to Latham, but he would not comment on what that information was or on a motive, saying the investigation was ongoing.

Murrill said what happened to Brown has been a test of faith and forgiveness for the church congregation.

“We have to practice what we preach,” he said.

Latham remains in the Wake County jail. He was denied bond at his first court appearance. His is scheduled to be back in court on Jan. 31.

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  • Justin T. Jan 14, 2008

    Yep, it was just too damaging to the poor young children when they had to endure prayer and school and the threat of corporal punishment.

    Now children commit adult crimes with the blatant disregard we have allowed them to have. They need firm discipline to give them a taste of adult consequences (before they spend the rest of their lives in prison).

  • babyluv Jan 14, 2008

    It saddens me that our youth for whatever reason make stupid decisions as if they are invincible.....Let me tell you NONE OF US Are! We all are one decision away from spending a lifetime is misery/jail or whereever...I hope he knows now that is life of full of choices and he chose the one that will have his behind in jail/possibly for a lifetime. No one has to rally this one.(thank you) Its a done deal a deal he made and now he has to live with it. Unfortunately jail is not about to rehabilitate this young black man but keep him like a monkey in a zoo.(where they like to see us...in constant trouble, the media goes wild when african americans do stuff) People this is not a dress rehearsal...LIFE IS THE REAL THING!!!! and Regardless if parents were in the home or not,these gangs have served as this guys family but bet they had kicked him to the curb since his arrest. Sad but its true...our community needs help and prayer...These young men are looking for trouble rather than a job.

  • Raleigh Pioneer Jan 14, 2008

    So sad to see a young life wasted. I wonder if his father had any involvement in his life? My prayers are with the family of the man who was killed, as well as the family of the boy who took his life. Can't imagine what his mother is going through... if indeed she's involved and actually cares.

    So what you're saying, Politically Honest, is that the boy would not have killed this man if he had been spanked? Give me a break. There are more ways to parent and discipline than to hit your child. Trust me, many people who were spanked have grown up to do horrible things. I dare make the guess that more people who are behind bars for life were spanked than not. Be a parent, not a friend... that I agree with. But let's put a little thought and common sense into disciplining our children. How can I tell my child not to hit (or shoot or disrespect, etc.) others, and then hit him?

  • doodad Jan 14, 2008

    This story breaks my heart.

  • cuteboyd Jan 14, 2008

    I totally agree with you Politically Honest not Correct. It's really sad that a man who lived a long life and probably worked hard for everything he had was denied a chance to continue living all because some young person didn't make the right choice. My prayers are with the victom's widow and family.

  • G-Dawg Jan 14, 2008

    I guess William Barbour will not be rallying for this guy.

  • Politically Honest NOT PC Jan 14, 2008

    When you spare the rod you don't spoil the child, YOU WASTE HIS LIFE. just like this kid. He took a life and now his is wasted because he will never get the chance to grow up as a normal(?) kid of his age should. It is time that parents QUIT trying to be friends and went back to parenting and it is time for the soft hearted(headed)liberals to let the parents be just that, PARENTS. Maybe,just maybe, then we can turn things around and make productive citizens of our youth.

  • ghimmy47 Jan 14, 2008

    That kid's life was ruined before that day. When are we going to do something about the CAUSE of crime? Fight the segmentation of society into productive and parasitic groups. End the subculture of drugs, abuse and "minding our own business." Move multi-millionaire sports figures away from being role models, and remove those who abuse their privileges from sport. Teach that it's more important who you are than what you have. We MUST have morals. We MUST TEACH morals of some kind. The parents aren't doing it. We must make peer pressure something other than drugs, money and guns to make it stronger than the dark side we are losing so many to.

  • UPTOP Jan 14, 2008

    This young man will probably learn the word behind those bars for the rest of his life. (That's normally what happens)they get behind bars and find the Lord.

  • Evil one Jan 13, 2008

    He looks like a very nice man, the "salt of the earth" type. Hope justice is dealt swiftly and severely, the least that can be done for his family.

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