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Durham residents feared felon who was in their neighborhood despite court's order

Posted January 7, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Residents in a Durham neighborhood near Duke University's West Campus got relief Wednesday for a months-long worry about a felon who they said was in their midst through an oversight by the state's troubled probation system.

The state Department of Correction arrested Antonio Jennings and held him on $100,000 bond on a probation violation related to his conviction last October for breaking and entering counts in 2006 and 2007.

As part of Jennings' probation for those offenses, Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson ordered that Jennings "is not to go on or about the premises of Walden Pond Sub Division, not to reside or visit."

Durham community claim probation violation Durham community report probation violation

Stephanie Foltz, who lives in the Walden Pond community, said neighbors had regularly seen Jennings in their area, however, and they were worried.

Jennings, who police say they believe is responsible for at least a dozen break-ins in the area since 2005, pleaded guilty last year.

Foltz said she had seen Jennings in the neighborhood about every other day at what she believes is his girlfriend's house.

Foltz said neighbors warned her about Jennings. Later that day, she said, Jennings rang her doorbell.

“(He) asked me if I had dogs. He asked me if I had a security system, which of course made me a little suspicious,” Foltz said.

Foltz says she and other neighbors had repeatedly called Jennings' probation officer.

"She did tell me that she understood the importance of the situation and that she would get back to me," Foltz said. The officer told her that in the interim, Jennings was allowed to stay there because the owner of the home said he could stay there.

“He’s really intimidating, so it’s a pretty scary thing to know that he’s living a few houses down and there is nothing that anyone can do about it, pretty much,” Foltz said before Jennings' arrest Wednesday.

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  • elyhim2 Jan 8, 2009

    It's not just Durham but that parole officer should be fired. Regardless if a homeowner allows someone to be there if the judges order is to be out of the area then that is a requirement of his release. Looks like we have parole officers playing judge and jury.
    Charge her with aiding and abetting and make an example if we really wanted to clean things up.

  • 68_polara Jan 8, 2009

    I don't know how much relief I'd have considering there are 50,000 unserved warrants in Durham County. But when they are arrested we have Judges like Orlando Hudson handing out short sentences for violent felons so they end up right back on the street anyway.

  • ccs1920 Jan 8, 2009

    The probation officer needs to be fired. Some of them are a BIG part of the problem.

  • kimmyrn6 Jan 8, 2009

    I am guessing that this guy might have been affiliated with the guy that broke into my boyfriend's home 1/5/09. Supposedly, the police had an informant that was going to show them all the places that they had broken into recently. Being that the other gentleman was also arrested yesterday-YAY, I am guessing this guy might have been the informant. Get this though- The individual that we know had something to do with the break-in at my boyfriend's home was released from prison in 6/2008 for the SAME thing and WASN'T even on probation. He was walking around like a normal citizen, taking a job from a decent, law-abiding individual, and commenced committing crimes all over again! What a joke! I can't tell you how angry this makes me!

  • chfdcpt Jan 8, 2009

    Wolfheel, any police office will agree with your figures. If we kept all the violent criminals locked up for their complete sentences, things might be a lot better for the law abiding-tax paying citizens.

  • Blue Devils Rule Jan 7, 2009

    I guess it's takes a murder charge while on probation to get arrested again for violations.

  • Wolfheel Tarpack Jan 7, 2009

    I know of an instance where a person has at least 7 felonies, was listed as an absconder on the NC Offender website, committed another felony last month and was simply released -- same person also has been charged in the past with failure to appears -- ALL, but TWO occurred in Durham with overlapping probations and paroles when the next crime committed. FRUSTRATING RIDICULOUS WASTE OF TAX-PAYER MONEY AND VICTIMS' CONTINUE TO PAY THE PRICE ON BOTH ACCOUNTS. Same 10% committing 80% of the crimes over and over.

  • meh2 Jan 7, 2009

    Judge Orlando Hudson, say no more.