Local News

Suspect in convenience store killing arrested weeks before

Posted September 3, 2008

— A Vance County man arrested in connection with last week’s shooting of a store clerk had also been arrested weeks before on weapons charges, police records show.

Demarius Antoine Benson, 19, of Eastway Drive, was arrested Sunday in connection with the death of Sadeq Ali Mohommed Alashmali, 31, of Henderson, during a robbery of the Williamsboro Grocery at a Shell gas station, 7690 N.C. Highway 39 North, on Friday. Sheriff Peter White said that Benson also shot at another person in the store. That person was not injured.

Friends of Alashmali feel the justice system failed their friend and plan to take their concerns on Thursday to the Vance County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney.

“It’s another one that slipped through the cracks pretty much,” neighbor Tonya Hanks said.

Another suspect in the convenience store shooting death, Saadi T. Williams, 20, of Henderson, was arrested Tuesday.

Benson and Williams have both served time in prison for common-law robberies committed in Vance County, according to state Department of Correction records.

Benson was released on March 22 after serving 13 months for robberies in June 2005 and January 2006.

Between 2006 and 2007, Williams served 8½ months in prison for a robbery in April 2006.

Both are charged with first-degree murder.


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  • manofjustice Sep 4, 2008

    I've said it before,I'll say it again we have lost our moral foundation. We are reaping years of turning our back on God. There is a way that seems right to men,but the end brings death. Incidents like this are just the fruits of our failed direction and only God can save us,thru a relationship with Him in Jesus Christ.
    Its me again

    I agree wholly and holy. That is why we need President Obama to make some changes in this unholy land. We go from King Jesus to now King Obama. Blessed be.

  • manofjustice Sep 4, 2008

    Henderson is a great city to live in. I love to shop in old downtown Henderson. It is one of the greatest cities to live in in North Carolina. I just hope they have the correct perpetrator. So many times people from Henderson have gotten the shaft and been innocent. Just like the sheriff's daughter. I don't defend her because I think she is very beautiful, I defend her because I honestly beleive she is innocent. I hate to see or hear of innocent people going to jail for nothing. Blessed be to all.

  • d1mike41 Sep 4, 2008

    I used to frequent that store. Always wondered when something (wish it weren't so tragic) was gonna happen. That store is way out in the county, with not much close by. Not very well patrolled by an understaffed S.O. Doesn't surprise me, but I hate to hear the clerk was killed.

  • OrdinaryCitizen Sep 4, 2008

    hereandnow99 - The only problem is there are too many idiots who would vote this down when it makes pure sense.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Sep 4, 2008

    Lots of folks seem to want this guy out of the gene pool. Why not go one step further? (or maybe 10 steps) What would you say to an initiave where the Government required birth control for ALL people? To breed, you'd have to apply for a license and prove: financial means, sufficient time to devote to the child for at least 18 years, your mental stability, no previous children with a record (including for shoplifting, illegal drug use or whitecollar crime), a "proper" values system, etc. Unplanned, accidental or unauthorized pregnancies would be terminated immediately and both parents would be publicly caned...no exceptions...even for the rich.

    I mean, what do you people suggest as a solution to preventing crime?

  • Bradley07 Sep 4, 2008

    Right on!! Babyblue and taxman!!!

  • Justin T. Sep 4, 2008

    Henderson seems like it is getting more dangerous for businesses.

    My suggestion for someone wanting to start a business and avoid getting robbed: open a dentist's office - nobody in Henderson goes there.

  • sillyone. Sep 4, 2008

    babyblue2 I could not have said it better. I also believe had this been a white middle class person that committed the first crime they would either still be in jail or the criminal justice system would have drained every penny that they owned from their pockets

  • tmbboyd Sep 4, 2008

    This is one story of how the justice system failed, imagine all the one's with never hear of. I am floored by Vance County's problem. I have lived in Henderson for 28 years and it just continues to get worse and worse. I know the Alashmli family and they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I feel so sorry for them, as their family member did not deserve this by no means. Something has got to be done, not only in Vance County but everywhere.

  • willis2 Sep 4, 2008

    Someday, somewhere being a felon caught with a weapon will be a crime.