Local News

Suspect named in Durham man's slaying

Posted January 14, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Police said Wednesday they are searching for a 28-year-old Durham man in last month's slaying of a Sunday school teacher.

A warrant has been issued charging Jameel Rasaun Thornton, of Liberty Street, with murder in the Dec. 26 death of Trevor Spain. The two men were acquaintances, police said.

Durham man sought in Shepherd Street slaying Durham man sought in Shepherd Street slaying

Spain, 41, was found face-down in a pool of blood in the basement of his family home, at 1301 Shepherd St. Family members said there was no sign of forced entry, but several items were taken, including two TVs, cash and a DVD player.

Police haven't released information on how Spain died or a why they think he was killed. Family members said Spain was stabbed to death.

"I haven't slept a good night since this happened," said Travis Sellers, Spain's cousin.

Spain often mentored people, and Sellers said he thinks his cousin reached out to Thornton, who may have taken advantage of the situation.

"He wanted to use, and Trevor was a person he could get money from and it turned sour," Sellers said.

Thornton is also wanted on a larceny charge and a probation violation, police said.

He was placed on probation in September after receiving a suspended sentence on charges of drug possession, driving with a revoked license and wanton injury to real property, according to court records.

Durham probation officials said he never reported in. They checked his listed addresses, job records and hospital records and talked to relatives, said Tony Taylor, an assistant manager of the Durham probation office.

"We checked everything. We know (if) we can't find them (and) they're not reporting, (we're) declaring them an absconder," Taylor said. "We began to prepare the violation order for his arrest."

Thornton's record consisted of misdemeanors, and Taylor said he got lost amid the 800 offenders the five probation officers are looking for in Durham.

"We would not want this to ever happen, but this does happen," he said, referring to a probationer committing a serious crime. "There are a lot of offenders, and they're going to do that."

Police said Thornton is known to frequent the areas of Liberty Street, Holloway Street, East Club Boulevard and the Oxford Manor housing community.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Cpl. N.M. Cloninger of the Durham Police Department at 919-560-4440, ext. 245, or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • jon2four Jan 14, 2009

    Glad they have a suspect in this case - good work!!! I wonder if it would be easier to just post the people in Durham who are not on probation or parole?

    Didn't know you had enough brain power to wonder.

  • jon2four Jan 14, 2009

    More black on black violence, yet the NAACP is worried about words in a tunnel or dresses in an inaugural parade and enabling illegal immigrants. *sigh*

    Sigh*** are you as ignorant as you want us to believe you are ?

  • jbirdnc Jan 14, 2009

    Dear Randy Cox,

    This "suspect" is a felon, with multiple convictions. He's smiling in one of his mug shots, now a "suspect" in murder. Thanks for bringing up his race, in your point to stereotype the majority of comments regarding this story, all while making some weak attempt to label everyone else racist.


    The Peanut Gallery.

  • stategirl2 Jan 14, 2009

    Why do you continue to bring up old news and why can't you comment on a story without bringing up race

  • manofjustice Jan 14, 2009

    This young man is innocent I believe. I really don't think this nice young man is the guy police is after. The truth will come out.

  • 007KnightRider Jan 14, 2009

    I hope they catch him soon.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jan 14, 2009

    I think they have the wrong picture in the article. I would swear to you that the guy in the picture is Julius Hodge.

  • Randy Cox Jan 14, 2009

    I always love the peanut gallery comments from you people whenever a black guy gets arrested or becomes a suspect. This guy is a SUSPECT. He hasn't been convicted of what police allege that he did. I'm not defending him, but I think you guys sound ridiculous when you say things like "Oh, he'll lose that grin when he's in prison" and other such nonsense. I mean, you all sound SOOOOOOOO tough. (Yeah, that was sarcasm.)

  • ladyinblue72 Jan 14, 2009

    On probation and still committing crimes..imagine that? How many more probationers committing murder is it going to take before something is done and this broken system is fixed??? If the offender had been in jail for his previous crimes as he should have been, this murder could have been prevented. Change the laws and change the system!!!God bless the victim's family.

  • LaLa-Land Jan 14, 2009

    Well he seems to think it's funny that he's a criminal. We'll see how funy he thinks it is when he goes to jail for a very long time.